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.
The shooting 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 medical examiner's office and family members said 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 lived downstairs from the apartment where LeGrier was staying, died at a different hospital at 5:14 a.m.
Both LeGrier and Jones were black, the Cook County medical examiner's office said. Police did not immediately disclose the race of the officer, nor how long the officer has been with the department or the officer's current work status.
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. Officials have said the investigation will look into patterns of racial disparity in the use of force and review how the department disciplines officers and handles misconduct accusations.
LeGrier's father told the Chicago Sun-Times he had invited his son to a family holiday gathering before the shooting but he chose not to go. Antonio LeGrier said when he returned to his second-floor apartment early Saturday, Quintonio appeared to be a "little agitated."
He said he heard loud banging on his locked bedroom door around 4:15 a.m. and that his son said, "You're not going to scare me." He said Quintonio tried to bust the door open, but he kept him from doing so and called police.
The father said he called Jones, who lived a floor below, and warned her that his son was a "little irate" and not to open the door unless police arrived. He said Jones told him she saw Quintonio outside with a baseball bat.
When police arrived, Antonio LeGrier said he heard Jones yell, "Whoa, Whoa Whoa!" He said he heard gunshots as he made his way down from the second floor and then saw his son and Jones lying in the foyer.
"I identified myself as the father and I held my hands out," he said.
He said his son had emotional problems after spending most of his childhood in foster care, but that it didn't warrant him being shot and killed.
The father said police told him that Quintonio was shot seven times and had called 911 before he did.
He said his son, who he described as a "whiz kid" was home on his holiday break from Northern Illinois University, where he majored in electrical engineering technology.
Quintonio graduated last year from Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago.
LeGrier's mother, Janet Cooksey, told the Chicago Tribune that despite her son's issues, 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," said Cooksey, who was not present at the time of the shooting.
It is not clear from the police statement if there are any video recordings of the shooting. Autopsies were not scheduled Saturday, medical examiner's office spokeswoman Becky Schlikerman said.
Chicago police referred requests from The Associated Press for additional comment to the Independent Police Review Authority, the city's main police oversight agency. IPRA spokesman Larry Merritt confirmed Saturday that the agency was investigating an officer-involved shooting but said he couldn't release any further details and that it was "very early on in the investigation."
The release of the McDonald shooting video led to protests, the forced resignation of former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and calls from residents for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to step down.
Cooksey said she wants a personal apology from Emanuel for what happened to LeGrier, her only child.
"Are we gonna get protected or is the police just gonna keep taking lives?" Cooksey said. "I mean, who's gonna answer these questions?"
Emanuel's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from the AP.
Melvin Jones, the brother of the woman killed Saturday, told the Tribune his sister celebrated Christmas at her apartment Friday with about 15 other relatives. He said she "had an excellent Christmas."
He said Bettie Jones lived in her 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 and include 19-year-old twins.
"There are so many questions and no answers," her brother 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."