06/12/2007

Chicago police shoot armed teen

By Steve Patterson
The Chicago Sun-Times 
 
CHICAGO — It was a stupid argument over nothing, really, another war of words between a stubborn teenage boy and his difficult father, relatives said.

Derrick Traylor Sr. went to get his gun, while Derrick Traylor Jr. fled the family house near 71st and Halsted.

They traded shots across a vacant lot, perhaps 20 times, according to a man who didn't want to be named, but who called 911 around 4 p.m.

Just then, a police car was driving west on 71st, taking a suspect to a station, and two officers jumped out. Seconds later, Derrick Traylor Jr. — who is supposed to graduate today from Robeson High School — allegedly turned toward police, gun in his hand.

He was shot three times.

"They just jumped out of the car and shot him," a sobbing aunt said. "He would've stopped if they'd said, 'freeze.' "

Police say they told him to drop the gun before firing.

The 19-year-old's father — reportedly firing from a back porch — was arrested. The teen was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was in police custody and in stable condition after being shot in the stomach and buttocks, his family said.

SHOOTING UNDER REVIEW

Relatives said the argument between father and son began over a car owned by another brother, and "it was escalated by [Traylor Sr.]," said a cousin, Gloria Jones.

And while the Traylor family acknowledged there was blame to be shared, word that a teenager had been shot by an officer sent waves through an Englewood neighborhood dotted by vacant lots, abandoned houses and signs pleading "Stop. Killing People." As crime-scene tape was lifted, rumblings began in the crowd, with talk of officers involved in other shootings and videotaped barroom beatings.

Copyright 2007 Chicago Sun-Times

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