IRVING PARK — The parents of the Lane Tech High School student shot by a suburban cop last week in Irving Park are suing an alleged getaway driver in an effort to get more information about how their son was wounded.
Rylan Wilder’s family is suing Maurice Murphy — the man police said was the getaway driver in the Tuesday armed robbery that led to the shooting — in an effort to access police video and reports of the shooting. Murphy was arrested by police shortly after the robbery while still in the suburbs.
Murphy’s alleged accomplice, Christopher Terrell Willis, was able to flee to Irving Park in a stolen car. He was eventually killed by the Des Plaines officer.
“Suing Murphy allowed us the avenue to get in front of Judge Gillespie tomorrow to get access to all this evidence to determine whether or not the Des Plaines or the Chicago Police department[s] have any culpability in this,” said Timothy Cavanagh, the family’s attorney.
At a press conference Monday, Cavanagh said the lawsuit aims to uncover evidence from Chicago and Des Plaines police to clarify what exactly happened that led to Wilder’s shooting.
“There have been a couple of different versions of what occurred. That’s why we need the evidence,” Cavanagh said. “We believe this lawsuit will enable us to have access to this evidence immediately. The parents have a right to know.”
The attorney added the family would “withhold judgement” until they get the evidence they’re “entitled to.”
Tom Wilder and Lucia Morales, the student’s parents, were in tears and holding hands during the press conference at Cavanagh Law Group.
“We want our questions answered. We need to understand what really happened on Tuesday night. My world was turned upside down,” Morales said.
On the night of the shooting, Morales said she texted her son that his father would pick him up from UpBeat at about 7:15 p.m. As Tom Wilder got closer to the music school, he saw police had blocked off all traffic around it.
Morales texted and called her son, but she didn’t get a response, which worried her.
Tom Wilder parked his car and ran toward the school, but he was told his son was shot and was being taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Rylan Wilder has been in the hospital since then recovering from his wounds.
The teen has already undergone multiple surgeries to his arm and stomach and his parents launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the cost of his recovery over the weekend.
On Tuesday, Cook County Judge Daniel Gillespie will review emergency motions filed by Cavanagh to “preserve and produce” records and footage related to the shooting on Tuesday morning.
The evidence the family wants to review includes “audio communications” and video footage from officer body cameras, police cars and buildings in and around the scene of the shooting.
Illinois passed a law in January requiring all police-involved shootings be investigated.
Cavanagh said he thinks Chicago Police have already “cleared” the suburban police officer in the Tuesday shooting, although it appears no official investigation has begun. That’s “concerning,” he said.
But Chicago Police said the shooting is still under investigation.
“This is not true. The investigation into this incident is still open,” said spokeswoman Karie James.
Linda DeTomasi, a spokeswoman for the city of Des Plaines, also said the shooting was still under investigation and declined to comment further.
Cavanagh stressed the family is not seeking any financial damages from the men accused of robbing the bank.
“This case [against Murphy] is just an avenue to allow us to get access to the evidence,” Cavanagh said. “This family is not going to get any monetary justice from Willis or from Murphy.”
Cavanagh said he would not rule out adding the Chicago and Des Plaines Police departments to the lawsuit in the future.
“We’re going to follow the evidence where that leads and make the appropriate legal conclusion,” Cavanagh said.
Rylan Wilder underwent another surgery Friday and his mother fears he may never play the guitar again. He still has a long road to recovery, she said.
“Throughout this whole experience Rylan was being so brave. He was just more concerned about others than he was about himself,” Morales said. “The first thing that he said to me was, ‘Mom, I hope everyone else is OK. I hope no one else got hurt.’”
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