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Armed Man Shot to Death by Chicago Police Officer

A man involved in an early-morning sidewalk disturbance after a Mother's Day party was shot to death by a police officer after a brief foot chase, authorities said.

Police and bystanders offered similar but not identical accounts of the shooting, which happened about 2:30 a.m. in the 5400 block of West Madison Street in the South Austin neighborhood. He was pronounced dead at 4:37 a.m. at Loyola, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office, which was not releasing the man's identity Sunday evening.

Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, said police had been called to the block for a pair of disturbances. Glancing down the block, an officer spotted a man pointing a gun at a group of people, Camden said.

The man started walking across Madison Street, and when a police officer approached, the man started running, Camden said. The officer grabbed the man, who started pulling the gun from his waistband, Camden said.

"The offender's turning around and he's pulling the gun out on the officer," Camden said. "At this point, the officer fires and hits him several times."

The man was taken in serious condition to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Camden said. Police recovered a Glock semiautomatic handgun at the scene, he said.

Several people standing nearby who said they had seen the shooting also described a chase ending with the officer shooting the man at close range. Several said that the officer had knocked the man to the ground before shooting and that the officer did not appear to them to be in danger when he fired.

One of the people saying this was Rovon Jones, who had hosted a Mother's Day party in his barber shop across the street from where the shooting happened.

Jones said he had ended the party and was talking with police officers in front of his shop when he saw the man, who had attended the party, running across the street. Jones saw the officer push him down and then shoot, he said.

"We all make mistakes," said Jones, who is 40. "These [officers] just made a mistake tonight."

In a separate interview, Lawrence Harris, 41, shared a similar account, saying the officer had extended an arm and used it to bring down the man as he ran by.

Harris said the man had been involved in a confrontation on the sidewalk, but he said he was trying to get away from someone else, not police, when he saw the police officer. "He was scared, because he was running from someone else," Harris said.

Harris and Jones said they had not seen a gun.

Police blocked Madison with red and yellow police tape after the shooting, leaving drivers to stare as they slowly made U-Turns.

East of the crime scene, a woman who identified herself as the sister of the man who was shot said her mother had not yet been allowed to go to her son's side as he was treated at the hospital. The woman declined further comment.

A dome that appeared to be a public safety camera was visible on top of a light pole at the intersection of Madison and North Lotus Avenue, steps to the west of where the man was shot.

Copyright 2014 - Chicago Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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