08/22/2007

Chicago officer fatally shoots fleeing suspect

By Dan P. Blake
Chicago Tribune
Related: The angry specter of "shot in the back" rises once again

CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer shot and killed a man on the South Side early this morning after the man allegedly refused to drop a handgun he was carrying and then charged the officer who had been looking to question him, police said.

The man was pronounced dead from a gunshot wound to the torso outside a brick bungalow home in the 8100 block of South Morgan Street, police said. He was identified this morning by the Cook County medical examiner's office as Johnny Goodwin, 22.

The incident began around 12:15 a.m. when two plain-clothed Gresham District officers in a marked squad car observed the man acting "suspiciously" while walking east on 82nd Street near Morgan, according to police Cmdr. Dana Alexander.

When the man saw the officers, he ran through an alley just west of Morgan and the officers followed, observing the man "placing what appeared to be a handgun into his waistband," Alexander said.

The man continued trying to elude the officers by running east through a gangway and jumping a fence, Alexander said. He briefly lost the officers, one of whom had exited the squad car to pursue him on foot, Alexander added. The other officer who remained in the squad car, meanwhile, began patrolling the area for the man.

When the officer on foot came upon the man crouched in a gangway stairwell of the bungalow, he was pointing a handgun at him, Alexander noted. The officer repeatedly ordered the man to drop the weapon, Alexander added. Instead, however, "the subject rushed out of the stairwell with the weapon pointed at the officer," Alexander said.

"In fear for his life, (the officer) fired multiple times, striking the offender," the commander said in an early morning briefing held near the site of the shooting.

Police spokesman Pat Camden said a .38 revolver was found in the man's hand but he had not fired any shots at the officer.

The two officers involved in the incident were assigned to a district "incident car", which police, wearing civilian clothes, use to patrol areas of high-narcotics trafficking and gang activity. Police declined, however, to release further details about the officers involved in the shooting incident.

High-level police officials will hold a "roundtable" review to determine if the officer who shot the man acted within the use-of-force guidelines for the department when he opened fire, police officials said.

Copyright 2007 Chicago Tribune Company

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