Teen fatally shot by Chicago officer
Officers responded to call of man with gun on South Side, police say
By Lolly Bowean
The Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO — A teenager was shot to death on the South Side by a Chicago police officer on Friday night after a confrontation, police said.
Martinez Winford, 16, was shot about 7:45 p.m., police said, and taken to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 8:34 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Police would not describe the circumstances in which Winford was shot. As with all shootings that involve police, the Independent Police Review Authority is investigating, a spokesman said.
Officers responded to a call Friday night of a man with a gun in the 600 block of East 89th Street. Police said a gun was found near the scene, but they would not describe the weapon or say whether it had been fired.
On Saturday, neighborhood residents gathered and prayed near where Winford was shot.
Although Winford's address is in the 800 block of East 84th Street, about a mile from the shooting, a resident in the building at that address said the family had moved away recently. Residents on East 89th Street said the boy didn't live in the community but was with a group of teenagers who had wandered through the block early Friday evening.
Winford was a student at Bloom Trail High School in Chicago Heights and was father of an infant, said his cousin, Frederick Arnold.
"He was a good kid ... he just needed a little guidance," Arnold said. "He fell behind the wrong crowd and he just did some wrong things. But we all make mistakes, and he didn't deserve for the Chicago police to take his life. He didn't deserve it ... he was just a regular kid."
Arnold drove to the scene of the shooting on Saturday to see it for himself.
Although police said they found a gun nearby, Arnold said Winford was not known to carry a weapon.
Police sources said Winford had a juvenile record that included drug, reckless conduct and assault offenses.
Independent Police Review Authority investigators were at the scene shortly after the shooting and interviewed witnesses, said Mark Payne, a spokesman for the agency.
"We're into the preliminary stages," he said.The shooting was the 30th involving police this year. Of those, 11 have been fatal, according to the review authority.
Copyright 2008 The Chicago Tribune