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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Chicago Police Killed A 13-Year-Old Boy In Little Village Monday

Adam Toledo, 13, died from a gunshot wound in his chest. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the shooting, which police say happened during an "armed confrontation."

Early Monday morning, officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert of shots fired in the 2300 block of South Sawyer Ave. After an alleged confrontation, one man was shot and another was arrested, police said.
Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago
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LITTLE VILLAGE — The person whom police shot and killed Monday in Little Village was a 13-year-old boy, officials confirmed.

Adam Toledo, 13, of the 2700 block of South Millard Avenue, died from a gunshot wound in his chest, according to Natalie Derevyanny, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. The office confirmed Toledo’s identity Thursday.

The boy’s mother, Elizabeth Toledo, told ABC7 her son was the person shot and killed by a Chicago police officer early Monday.

“He was so full of life,” she said. “They just took it away from him.”

Toledo was overwhelmed with loss and surrounded by family as she planned her 13-year-old son’s funeral.

“I just want justice. I just want answers.. what happened?” Toledo said. “I just want justice for my son. That’s all.”

Police responded to a ShotSpotter alert of shots fired in the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue at 2:35 a.m. Monday, police said.

When police got there, officers saw two people in a nearby alley, police officials said. After one person ran away, an “armed confrontation” took place and an officer shot a person in his chest, police said in a statement. Police have not elaborated on what happened during the “armed confrontation” nor give the ages of the people involved.

Toledo was pronounced dead at the scene.  

Ruben Roman Jr., 21, of the 1400 block of West Elmdale Avenue, was arrested at the scene and later charged with misdemeanor resisting and obstruction of justice, police spokesman Thomas Ahern said.

After the shooting, Ahern tweeted a photo of a gun, which he said was found at the scene. Police declined to answer additional questions about the shooting.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative duty for 30 days. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is investigating the incident.

According to their preliminary investigation, COPA officials determined responding officers came across two people and chased after them on foot, at which point one of the officers shot and killed Toledo, spokesman Ephraim Eaddy said in a statement. That officer fired his weapon once, Eaddy said.

COPA has not said whether Toledo or Roman had a weapon.

The fatal shooting was captured on the officer’s body worn camera, Eaddy said. Eaddy also said state law bars the agency from publicly releasing videos that involve children. Documents that can be publicized include 911 calls, dispatcher records and incident reports, which will be released within 60 days, Eaddy said.

In a Thursday afternoon statement, police Supt. David Brown released no further details, but said “the split-second decision to use deadly force is extremely difficult for any officer, and is always a heavy burden to bear for officers involved in fatal shooting incident.”

“My greatest fear … has been a deadly encounter between one of our own and a juvenile especially given the recent rise in violent crimes involving juveniles throughout our city,” Brown said. “Unfortunately, this fear became a reality earlier this week. Any loss of life is tragic, especially when it involves youth.”

Both Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said they supported releasing police footage of the shooting to Toledo’s family and to the public, but COPA officials have said that can’t happen without a court order.

Later Thursday, Eaddy said in another statement COPA was exploring “all legal avenues that will allow for the public release of all video materials which capture the tragic fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.” Eaddy also said COPA investigators had been in touch with Toledo’s family and will provide the video for relatives to review.

Ald. George Cardenas (12th) called the shooting a “tragedy.” He reiterated that the shooting is still being investigated.

On Monday morning, a woman, who declined to share her name, said she was awakened by the shots earlier in the day but did not see the shooting.

As news spread about Toledo’s age, activists called for more transparency and answers from Chicago police.

“What the f— could a 13-year-old boy have been doing to anybody to deserve to die,” said India Jackson, GoodKids MadCity’s communications director. “When the story first got released police originally said he was a grown man. He’s not a grown man. He’s 13 years old. What can a little boy do to deserve that? Not a damn thing.”

This is a developing story.

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