Police shot five people and killed two on the South Side of Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend. One of the people killed was a sixteen-year-old student one week shy of his seventeenth birthday. The shootings are the latest in a string of gun violence crippling the city.
Warren Robinson, 16, was the teen police shot, in a city where 50 others were shot and killed over the Independence holiday, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Officials say they responded to a “shots fired” call and found Robinson in an alley in the South-side, Greshman neighborhood, hiding under a car with a gun. After police ordered the teen to drop the gun and come from under his hiding place, officials said the teen refused.
His mother however doesn’t agree with the police account of the incident.
Robinson’s mother, Georgina Utendahl, speaking to CBS Chicago, told reporters that her son was shot “over twenty times” and “they are trying to say he had a gun on him and he didn’t have a gun on him.”
Witnesses on the scene told reporters that Robinson kept his hands in the air the entire time, however police say their story is simply not true.
The story quickly turned into a matter of pointing fingers around the teen’s death.
“He was told multiple times [to] drop the gun. He is coming out from under the car with the gun in hand. At that point he shot. He is told again…to drop the gun and he refuses to do so, [and] still has his finger on the trigger. The officers again defend themselves,” said Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden told the Chicago Tribune.
“We want answers. We’ve been up here since 7,” Georgina Utendahl said. “I asked if he’s DOA, they said, ‘It’s not promising.’ He had no I.D. We don’t know if they moved him. I can’t see him. I’m trying to figure out why we can’t see him.”
A woman who lived on the same block as Robinson, Keiyana Hawkins, said she went outside to search for her children after she heard gunfire, and she saw a young man running and surrendering with raised hands when a police officer opened fired.
Although his mother freely admitted the teen’s trouble with the law, she also said her son was not a thug, or a gangster.
She said her son would sometimes accompany his grandmother to church, and was a happy young man who was “always laughing.”
His friends were planning a birthday party for him for the following weekend.
“He was a good young man,” Utendahl said. “He didn’t deserve to be gunned down.”
Earlier that same evening, police shot a man who they also claimed had a gun and pointed at officers after a foot pursuit.
[Photo Credit: Bing]