West Side

Mother, NIU Student Killed in Police-Involved Shooting

The Chicago Police Department released a statement saying Bettie Jones was "accidentally struck and tragically killed"

A man and a woman were fatally wounded by Chicago police early Saturday morning on the city's West Side. It was one of two separate police-involved shootings to occur under a 12-hour time period on Saturday.

In the first police-involved shooting, Quintonio LeGrier, 19, and Bettie Jones, 55, were shot at about 4:25 a.m. in the 4700 block of West Erie as officers were responding to a call of a domestic disturbance, according to a statement from the Chicago Police Office of News Affairs. 

"Upon their arrival, they were confronted by a combative individual, resulting in an officer firing shots, fatally wounding two individuals," Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Eugene Roy said in a press conference Saturday morning said. "The matter is under investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority and further questions regarding this matter should be directed to them," he added.

The Cook County medical examiner's office said the two were pronounced dead at different area hospitals within an hour.

LeGrier died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Jones died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Both deaths were ruled homicides.

Neighbors and family members at the scene said that the domestic disturbance stemmed from LeGrier threatening his father with a metal baseball bat. He was a sophomore honor student at Northern Illinois University studying engineering. 

"I'm trying to be strong because I've prayed but it's my only child and I'm hurting, I'm hurting real bad," said Janet Cooksey, the mother of LeGrier. She said her son was shot seven times by police.

Cooksey said LeGrier developed a mental illness in September, but said that he was not violent.

"Every young black child is not a thug," said Cooksey. "Some of them want something and my son wanted something. He wanted something. He was going somewhere."

The Chicago Police Department issued a statement Saturday evening confirming that the death of 55-year-old Bettie Jones, the second shooting vicitm, was a casualty, saying she was "accidentally struck and tragically killed. The department extends its deepest condolences to the victim’s family and friends."

Jones, the second shooting victim, was a mother of five, according to family members. She lived in the same building as LeGrier.

Latesha Jones, Bettie's daughter, said she woke up when she heard three gunshots. She walked to the front door and saw her mother bleeding on the ground, she told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“She wasn’t saying anything,” Jones said, who added that she could feel her mother breathing before she was taken away by paramedics.

Jones said that police shot the mother of five from outside the home, where she has resided for a year and a half, after she opened the door, the Sun-Times reported. Jones' family told NBC 5 they plan to file a lawsuit. 

Jones' best friend Ronnie Campbell called her a "sweet woman."

"Got twin daughters. She never gave no one no problems," said Campbell. "She was the sweetest women you'd want to know."

A GoFundMe page had collected more than $7,000 as of Sunday night to help pay for Jones' funeral expenses.

Less than 12 hours later, a second police-involved shooting left another man injured on Chicago's South Side.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., officers were called to an assault in progress in the 1000 block of West 103rd Street in the city's Washington Heights neighborhood, according to police. No other details were immediately available.

One person was taken to the hospital in serious to critical condition, according to the Chicago Fire Department. Investigators said a weapon was recovered at the scene.

Friends and family identified the shooting victim as 23-year old Mekel Lumpkin, a father of a two-year-old girl. They say Lumpkin was arguing with his brother when police were called and added that Lumpkin was obeying police commands to drop his weapon when he was shot.

Later that same evening, Sharon Fairley, the acting Chief Administrator of IPRA, spoke about both police-involved shootings during a brief press conference.

"Our objectives are to conduct thorough and timely investigations of each incident," said Fairley. "At this time our focus is on collecting the evidence and identifying and interviewing all witnesses."

The officers involved in both shootings will be placed on administrative duties for 30 days, according to a statement from officials.

"This new policy which was implemented by Superintendent Escalante, will ensure separation from field duties while training and fitness for duty requirements can be conducted. Going forward, this will be standard protocol following all officer-involved shootings," the statement said.

Mayor Emanuel issued a statement Sunday afternoon, calling on the police department and the Independent Police Review Authority to review crisis intervention training. 

"There are serious questions about yesterday’s shootings that must be answered in full by the Independent Police Review Authority’s investigation," the statement read.

Emanuel said "it is clear changes are needed to how officers respond to mental health crises," adding that he asked Fairley and Escalante to "determine the deficiencies in the current training, and determine what steps can be taken immediately to address them."

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