A Chicago police officer shot and critically injured a 13-year-old boy wanted in a carjacking Wednesday night.
Chicago police were pursuing a stolen vehicle on the city’s West Side at around 10:15 p.m. when the boy hopped out of the car and fled on foot to a nearby gas station.
Several officers chased him to the gas station and one officer pulled out his gun and fired at the boy, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said during a press conference Thursday.
“[The 13-year-old] turned toward the officers,” Brown said. “The officer then discharges his weapon, striking the individual once.”
The child did not shoot at the officers, he added.
Multiple witnesses at the scene told ABC7 that the boy had his hands up and had no gun when he was shot.
“All of a sudden, I see a little guy wearing all black get out of the car and run toward the gas station, and his hands were up,” one witness who asked not to be identified told the outlet.
“And I seen the cop run up to the boy and started shooting. That boy didn’t have no gun or nothing,” the witness said.
Another witness speaking to ABC7 corroborated the report that the 13-year-old was unarmed.
“They said, ‘Put your hands up, put your hands up!’ The boy’s hands were up. There’s other people out there that seen it. I got it all on my phone — his hands were up. He didn’t have a gun,” the witness said. “They shot him for no reason.”
The boy was given first aid and rushed to an area hospital, where he is under police custody for the stolen car.
No weapon was recovered at the scene, according to Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability. The office is investigating the officer-involved shooting and reviewing both body cam footage and third party video of the incident and its lead-up.
A second suspect who was behind the wheel of the stolen silver 2008 Honda Accord sped off during the police chase and remains at large, Brown said. The car was later recovered down the road.
Police said the Honda Accord was stolen on May 16 when it was left running with its keys in the ignition. The car thieves then used the Accord to steal another vehicle, a Honda CRV, the following day when it was left running with a 3-year-old girl in the backseat.
The carjackers took off in the Honda CRV with the child inside as the mother grabbed onto her car and was dragged until she fell off and broke her collarbone. The car was recovered about 15 minutes after with the girl safely inside, Brown said.
Any officers involved in the incident will be placed on routine administrative duties for 30 days as COPA investigates.
“COPA is committed to a full and thorough investigation into the officer’s use of force to determine if their actions were in accordance with Department policy and training,” the agency said in a release cited by ABC7.