Chicago police officer placed on administrative duty after fatal 'armed confrontation' with 13-year-old boy

CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer has been placed on administrative duty after fatally shooting a teenager in an incident labeled by one official as an "armed confrontation."

The boy was Adam Toledo, who died by homicide from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Toledo, identified by the medical examiner’s office as a 13-year-old white male, lived in the city’s largely Hispanic Little Village neighborhood on the West Side.

"Adam had many dreams that he will never get to live out," Elizabeth Toledo, Adam's mother, wrote in a GoFundMe page. "Ironically one of his dreams was to become a police officer."

Toledo wrote that "another angel gained his wings way to soon." Adam enjoyed playing with legos and telling jokes, she wrote.

"He was a child that brightened up the room when he would walk in," she wrote. "It weighs heavy on our hearts to be planning our last goodbyes instead of watching him grow up and live out those dreams."

According to an initial police statement this week, officers responded to a shots fired alert after 2 a.m. Monday in Little Village.

Two people were in an alley and fled officers, who pursued them on foot, according to the police statement. The chase "resulted in a confrontation," police said. One officer shot the boy in the chest, and he was declared dead at the scene. According to police, the officers found a weapon at the scene.

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Police spokesman Tom Ahern called the incident an "armed confrontation" in a tweet. He also shared a photo of the gun recovered from the scene and said the other male involved in the incident was in custody.

Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the agency that investigates police misconduct, said in a statement the incident was captured on a body camera, but because Toledo was a juvenile, the footage cannot be released without a court order. Materials that can be released will be "within 60 days of the incident and in accordance with the City’s Video Release Policy," COPA added.

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"COPA is committed to a full and thorough investigation into the officer’s use of deadly force to determine if their actions were in accordance with Department policy and training and asks for the public’s patience," the organization said in a statement.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown called the incident – "a deadly encounter between one of our own and a juvenile" – the "greatest fear" he faces in his role.

"Unfortunately, this fear became a reality earlier this week," Brown said in his statement. "Any loss of life is tragic, especially when it involves the youth."

He extended his condolences to Toledo’s family and said the police department "fully supports" the COPA investigation and "adamantly" calls for the release of videos – including bodycam footage.

"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 incidents," Brown said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a Twitter thread Thursday it is "critically important" that COPA releases videos to the family, and then to the public, "as quickly as possible." She added that "transparency and speed are crucial."

Lightfoot said while "the facts and the circumstances around this case are under investigation ... we must ask ourselves how our social safety net failed this boy leading up to the tragic events."

Toledo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chicago police fatally shoot boy, 13; officer on administrative duty