Authorities released body-worn camera footage that shows an officer making a split-second decision to fire a single shot that killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo after the boy is seen holding a handgun at the end of a foot chase, according to police.
Police say what was in Toledo’s hand is a gun that was later recovered from behind the fence where the chase ended.
Prosecutors, in charging a 21-year-old man who was with Toledo at the beginning of the police encounter in the early morning hours of March 29, said the gun recovered a few feet from the boy’s body matched shell casings located where police were summoned moments earlier, and that Toledo’s hand and gloves dropped by the older man had tested positive for gunshot residue.
Body-worn camera videos were released by Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the police oversight agency that reviews incidents in which an officer fires a department issued handgun. Documents released by COPA identify the officer who fired his weapon as Eric Stillman, who is 34 years old. The Chicago Police Department also released a video compilation of surveillance footage from a nearby school and church.
‘Eight rounds, corner on the street’
Police in the area were alerted to the sound of gunfire that was picked up by the ShotSpotter technology the city uses to alert officers to gunfire almost instantly, often a minute or more before 911 calls are able to be broadcast over the police radio.
Officers responding to the area were told eight shots had been fired, according to police radio traffic released by authorities. The entire encounter between the officer picks up less than two minutes into the video and lasts less than 20 seconds, after the officer who shot Toledo opens the door to his police cruiser and starts chasing the 13-year-old and 21-year-old, identified by authorities as Ruben Roman.
Adam Toledo: Watch shooting video here
Mayor: Videos are ‘incredibly difficult to watch’
In a news conference Thursday ahead of the video’s release, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had seen the videos and they are “incredibly difficult to watch.” Her office also released a joint statement with Toledo’s family. It’s rare for the city to coordinate statements over incidents in which the city may face a lawsuit from the other lawyer.
In the joint statement Thursday, the mayor’s office and the attorneys for Toledo’s family said they met Wednesday and “both parties agree that all material should be released, including a slowed-down compilation of the events” that resulted in Adam’s death.
Lightfoot did not say whether she thought the shooting lawful or within the police departments use-of-force guidelines. As mayor, the department’s chain of command leads to the superintendent, who reports to her.