It’s mere days into the New Year, and already authorities are investigating two separate shootings of unarmed men by Chicago police officers, the Chicago Tribune reports.
According to the report, just about two hours after midnight Jan. 1, an officer shot a man after a car chase on the Far South Side. The suspect apparently crashed his vehicle into a police car and was then shot after some sort of physical altercation with officers in the street, according to police. That individual is currently hospitalized and is said to be in serious condition, according to the Tribune.
The next morning, Monday, on the Northwest Side, an off-duty officer fatally shot an unarmed man with whom, according to Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the officer had had a prior confrontation. The Chicago Police Department declined to identify the officer behind the shooting, saying only that he was 57 years old and assigned to transit detail. Police say that the officer shot the unarmed man “several times,” and he was pronounced dead at a medical center at 9:51 a.m.
“I have a lot more questions than I have answers at this time,” Johnson said. “I came out because I wanted to make sure the investigation was done properly.”
Both shootings are currently under investigation.
According to the Tribune, family identified the victim of Monday’s fatal shooting as 39-year-old Jose Nieves, a construction worker who had a second job as a security guard for a nightclub.
“He didn’t like drama,” a cousin, Ada Chaparro, said, adding that Nieves was walking his dogs when he was shot. “This makes no sense at all.”
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that investigators were checking the area, including a high school across the street, for surveillance footage of the incident and possible witnesses. Guglielmi said that it is not yet clear what led to the confrontation between the two men.
“We know that these two had some type of history with each other. We’re trying to dig deeper into that,” Guglielmi said. “We know there was some type of encounter between them before, but it’s unclear if it was the type of encounter that required police assistance. That’s also something we’re looking into, but these two individuals at minimum were prior acquaintances and had some type of history, not necessarily a friendly history.”
The incident is being looked into by both the CPD and the Independent Police Review Authority.
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.