The local police department said on Thursday that an officer was “investigating an occupied vehicle” when the suspects fled the scene. Later, a second officer noticed and approached the vehicle, which he said he started driving upside down. The department said the officer, who feared for his safety, opened fire with his semi-automatic pistol.
Authorities did not release the name of the officer who opened fire, but said he was a Hispanic man who has been with the force for five years. The officer is placed on administrative leave, and the Illinois State Police is investigating.
Police said the passenger, 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnett, was taken to a nearby hospital where she died. A preliminary autopsy determined that Stinnett died of gunshot wounds. Police said no weapons were found inside the vehicle.
Coroner Dr. in Lake County. Howard Cooper said, “We are in close contact with Mr. Steintete’s family during this difficult time and our deepest condolences are with him. It is truly a tragedy.”
The driver, identified by police as a woman in her 20s only, was hospitalized with serious injuries, but is expected to recover.
She was later identified as Tafra Williams, Steinette’s girlfriend. Her mother, Clifffina Johnson, told reporters that her daughter said she was pleading for her life during the incident. “When I got there, he said, ‘Mama, they just shot us for nothing,” Johnson said. “My daughter said that she put her hand up and if she didn’t put her hand up, she said ‘Mamma, I will become.”
Mayor Sam Cunningham said that he knows the families of both Stinnett and Williams and acknowledged that they are concerned about the impact of the shooting, which will take place on Waukegan, about 40 miles north of Chicago. “I was a black man who grew up in the same locality. It could have been me,” Cunningham told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’m nervous because there’s so much uncertainty. There’s a lot of rumors flying around. We’re begging. Get us all the information you have. Get all the footage you have,” he said. Added. “We have seen this game across the country, but it is spread only among communities.”
The protesters marched across the city on Thursday, demanding an investigation from the Justice Department. He also demanded the release of video by video. The Illinois State Police is currently reviewing dashcam footage and body camera video from officers.
Kishore’s grandmother, Sherrellis, said she wants the officer fired. According to CBS Chicago, “He was a human being. He deserved to live.” “He left one child behind; five sisters and one mother and one father.”