UPDATE: Body camera footage showing the fatal police shooting has been released. Details here.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she has seen "no evidence whatsoever" that 13-year-old Adam Toledo fired a gun at police before an officer fatally shot him, but she declined to say if the teen was holding a weapon at the time of the shooting, referring instead to body camera video being released Thursday afternoon.
"Look, I don't want to get into the real substance of this because the independent investigation is going on, but I've seen no evidence whatsoever that Adam Toledo shot at the police," Lightfoot said during a press conference urging peaceful response ahead of the footage's release.
Lightfoot again acknowledged that she has seen the videos, which she called "incredibly difficult to watch," but declined to offer specifics surrounding the circumstances leading up to the shooting.
The mayor noted that officers at the scene rendered aid in the moments following the shooting.
"When you see, and I urge you to watch it, watch all the footage, you're going to see that officer sprang into action to try to revive," Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot, who grew emotional at times as she discussed the impact gun violence has had on Chicago, said the footage, which she described as "excruciating," may be released around 2:30 p.m.
"There are several videos that kind of start at the beginning of the episode but watching the bodycam footage, which shows young Adam after he is shot is extremely difficult," she said. "And I would just say, I've said this to a number of people my, my staff or cabinet. As a mom, this is not something you want children to see."
Lightfoot's press conference alongside several community leaders came just moments after the mayor released a joint statement with her corporation counsel and the attorneys for Adam's family.
"Based on the Civilian Office of Police Accountability’s announcement that it will be releasing the videos, both parties agree that all material should be released, including a slowed-down compilation of the events of March 29 that resulted in the tragic death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo," the statement read.
Adam's family had recently called for people to "remain peaceful" to honor his memory as the city awaits the release of video. They echoed that request again in Thursday's statement.
"We acknowledge that the release of this video is the first step in the process toward the healing of the family, the community and our city," the statement read in part. "We understand that the release of this video will be incredibly painful and elicit an emotional response to all who view it, and we ask that people express themselves peacefully."
Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability had said after the family watched the videos Tuesday night that based on the family's request, it would "not immediately release" the footage or other materials like 911 calls and witness statements to the public.
The agency then announced Wednesday that video other materials related to the investigation would be released Thursday, two days after Adam's family was shown footage of the shooting.
"COPA has remained sensitive to the family’s grief and is carrying out this release in accordance with the City’s Video Release Policy," the office said in a statement Wednesday. "COPA’s core values of integrity and transparency are essential to building public trust, particularly in incidents related to an officer involved shooting, and we are unwavering in our commitment to uphold these values."
Body-camera footage of the shooting will be released, along with third-party video, OEMC transmissions, ShotSpotter recordings and several other reports, COPA said.
"COPA's investigation is ongoing as we seek to determine the full facts in this case. To that end, we call for full cooperation with COPA," the statement from the mayor and Toledo family attorneys read. "We remain committed to working together toward reform. We ask that you continue to respect the Toledo family’s privacy during this incredibly painful and difficult time."
Lightfoot said Wednesday that she had seen multiple videos of the fatal police shooting, but declined to give further details, saying she would not offer her "own commentary" about the video.
"Look, this is a difficult circumstance set of circumstances. First and foremost, we have a family that is still incredibly in the throes of grief, a mom and father who have lost their son, siblings that have lost her brother, grandparents," Lightfoot said. "So I want to be respectful of the family, but I also do think that something like a police-involved shooting, particularly under these circumstances, it's important for us to be transparent."
The shooting took place in the early morning hours of March 29, according to police, who said officers responded to an alert of shots fired at 2:37 a.m. in the 2300 block of South Sawyer and saw two males in a nearby alley.
Both fled, according to police, who said officers chased them and one opened fire, shooting Adam in the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene and a weapon was recovered, officials said.
NBC 5 has not independently verified the reports of the incident from police.
COPA is still investigating the shooting and the officers involved have been placed on administrative duties for 30 days in line with Chicago Police Department policy.
Outrage has enveloped the city since the fatal police shooting, with the teen's family and supporters calling for the immediate release of police body camera video showing the encounter. CPD has canceled days off for officers as they prepare for possible demonstrations.
Attorneys for Adam's family on Tuesday called the experience of seeing the videos "extremely difficult and heartbreaking for everyone present, and especially for Adam’s family."
“We want to thank COPA for giving the Toledo family the opportunity to review body camera video and other evidence before its public release," attorney Joel Hirschhorn said in a statement.
Hirschhorn said the family's legal team is continuing to conduct their own investigation into the shooting and meeting with representatives of the city, thanking members of the public for their respect as the family mourns.