Chicago police: Officer fatally shoots man, woman while responding to call

CHICAGO -- A Chicago police officer shot and killed two people early Saturday while responding to a domestic disturbance call on the city's West Side, police said.

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Quintonio Legrier, a 19-year-old college student, was pronounced dead at a hospital at 4:51 a.m., and Bettie Jones, a 55-year-old mother of five who was Legrier's neighbour, died at a different hospital at 5:14 a.m. Both were black, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Autopsies have not been scheduled, medical examiner's office spokeswoman Becky Schlikerman said.

Police did not disclose the race of the officer, how long the officer has been with the department or the officer's current work status. The shootings happened around 4:25 a.m. after officers who responded to the call "were confronted by a combative subject," the Chicago Police Department said in a statement.

The shootings come at a time when the Chicago Police Department is the subject of a federal civil rights investigation, which came after the release of a video showing white officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times in 2014. Van Dyke faces six counts of first-degree murder and one of official misconduct in the death of McDonald and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Legrier's mother, Janet Cooksey, told the Chicago Tribune that her son was studying engineering at Northern Illinois University. She said he had graduated from Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago and "was going somewhere."

Cooksey, who was not present at the time of the shooting, told the Chicago Tribune that her son had been dealing with mental issues, but said police didn't have to react the way they did.

"We're thinking the police are going to service us, take him to the hospital. They took his life," she said.

She said her son "didn't have a gun. He had a bat."

Chicago police didn't immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press for additional comment. It is not clear from the police statement if either Legrier or Jones were armed or if any video or audio recordings of the incident were available.

Cooksey said she wants a personal apology from Mayor Rahm Emanuel for what happened to her only child.

"Are we gonna get protected or is the police just gonna keep taking lives?" Cooksey said. "I mean, whose gonna answer these questions?"

Emanuel's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Melvin Jones, the brother of the woman killed Saturday, said his sister had celebrated Christmas at her apartment Friday with about 15 other relatives. He said she "had an excellent Christmas."

He said Bettie Jones lived in a first-floor apartment with her boyfriend and was the mother of four daughters and a son. Her children range in age from 19 to 38. They include 19-year-old twins.

"There are so many questions and no answers," Melvin Jones said. "I'm numb right now. Right now there's a whole lot of anger, a whole lot of tears. ... I don't have time to feel. I have a funeral to prepare."

Police said the shooting is under investigation and the case has been referred to the city's main police oversight agency. Independent Police Review Authority spokesman Larry Merritt confirmed Saturday that the agency was investigating an officer-involved shooting but had no further information.


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