Chicago’s police oversight agency cast uncertainty Thursday on whether a man fatally shot by officers fired his weapon in what Supt. David Brown has termed an “apparent exchange of gunfire.”
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability “can confirm a weapon was recovered at the scene and body-worn camera video captures the initial interaction as well as the subsequent shooting,” First Deputy Chief Administrator Ephraim Eaddy said in a statement. “It is unclear, nor has it been determined by COPA, if the individual discharged his weapon at police.”
Police said the man was armed and had been involved in an altercation early Wednesday outside a bar when fatally shot by officers in an alley. The man’s name has not been released.
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Brown said officers were called to the scene about 3 a.m. on a report of a man with a gun when the man ran into the alley and apparently exchanged gunfire with officers.
Brown said Wednesday that an initial investigation, including a review of body-worn camera footage, found “the offender fired his weapon, and the officers fired their weapon.”
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COPA said the two officers found the man walking and suspected he was involved in an earlier altercation. After getting out of their vehicle, the officers chased the man and ordered him to drop to the ground, COPA said.
As the officers followed him into an alley, the man fell and was ordered to stay down, COPA said. When the man started to get up, both officers fired multiple shots.
A police spokesperson declined to comment on COPA’s statement, telling the Chicago Sun-Times the agency is still actively investigating the shooting.