Crowd Reacts After Robbery Suspect Shot To Death By Police
A man suspected of robbing a truck driver Saturday was shot to death by police a short time later following what Chicago police called a “very violent encounter” in the Back of the Yards neighborhood that later sparked a mob reaction at the scene.
The shooting happened just before 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the 1600 block of West Garfield Boulevard near a gas station, police said.
A melee ensued when a crowd gathered after the shooting, with relatives of the dead man — identified as Jamaal Moore, 23 — accosting police officers and throwing bottles, bricks and rocks, said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. One family member assaulted an officer and was arrested, McCarthy said at an unrelated news conference.
Another eight people also were arrested at the scene, McCarthy said, adding that he had no information about how many officers were injured in the confrontation.
The chain of events began when robbers with guns held up a truck driver near 38th Street and Kedzie Avenue between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., authorities said, citing preliminary information.
Several suspects in an SUV were reported to have broken into a stopped truck. The driver had gotten out of his truck and confronted the thieves, and they pulled out a weapon, said Patrick Camden, spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7.
The driver called 911 and told a police dispatcher that the robbers were probably armed, Camden said.
Police chased the silver SUV until the vehicle lost control near Garfield Boulevard Ashland Avenue, striking a light pole, authorities said.
(Terry M. Walker, 31, Jeremy E. Jones, 26, Bruce Williams, 22, Richard Dean Q. Lanier, 19 and Aarion M. Pittman, 20. (Cook County Sheriff’s photos / December 16, 2012))
About five suspects then ran from the crashed SUV, McCarthy said, adding that four of them remain at large. One police car responding to the scene skidded onto the pavement and may have hit Moore as he tried to get away, McCarthy said.
A male and a female officer from that police car jumped out to confront Moore, who then got into a violent struggle with the male officer, throwing the officer to the ground twice, McCarthy said. Moore is listed in court records as 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds.
While still struggling with Moore, the male officer then yelled that the suspect had a gun, McCarthy said.
“It was reported as a gunpoint robbery so the officers had good reason to believe that there was a gun there,” McCarthy said.
After throwing the male officer to the ground a second time, Moore charged at the female officer, McCarthy said.
“Based on the male officer saying that he had a gun, she was in fear and she fired twice, striking him,” McCarthy said. Police later determined that Moore was holding a flashlight, McCarthy said. A gun was not found at the scene.
Both officers were taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center with injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. The male officer suffered several injuries, including a back sprain, but the female officer did not complain of any specific injuries.
Moore was taken to Saint Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, where he was declared dead at 12:13 p.m.
Court records show that Moore had been charged with crimes about a dozen times since 2006. In a 2007 case, he was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to 6 years in prison.
On Nov. 26 of this year, he pleaded guilty to a felony aggravated fleeing charge, a crime related to attempting to escape arrest. Details of that incident were not available Saturday, but Moore had been given 24 months probation and was sentenced to 60 hours of community service plus fines, court records show.
At the scene of the shooting, the crowd that gathered afterward included some who identified themselves as relatives of Moore. Word spread quickly that Moore had been already handcuffed when he was shot, an account bystanders heard from others who said they witnessed the shooting and that was shared by two people who called the Tribune.
McCarthy said he had no information about whether that was the case.
“To my knowledge, it’s nothing about handcuffs,” McCarthy said. “There is in-car video that is going to support this detailed story.”
Said Camden: “If he were handcuffed, we wouldn’t have a reason to shoot him.”
Chicago Police Sgt. Michael Martin, speaking near where the shooting took place, said people there were reacting with anger.
“People were throwing bricks and bottles at cop cars,” Martin said. “A few squad cars are damaged.”
Police responded by sending in several brigades of officers and closing off the area to traffic until the tensions eased and the damaged SUV was towed from the crash scene.