Man dies five days after being shot by police in South Shore

SHARE Man dies five days after being shot by police in South Shore

Alfontish Cockerham | Chicago Police

A man who was shot by a Chicago Police officer early Saturday in the South Shore neighborhood died Thursday night.

Alfontish Cockerham, 23, was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 10:57 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

An autopsy Friday found that Cockerham died of complications of multiple gunshot wounds, and ruled his death a homicide, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Cockerham, of the 11800 block of South Harvard, had been charged before his death with one count of aggravated assault of a peace officer with a weapon, and one count of unlawful use of a weapon, both felonies, according to Chicago Police.

About 12:10 a.m. Saturday, officers were called to the 7000 block of South Merrill for a report of a person with a gun, Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antoniette said in bond court Wednesday. Cockerham did not appear for the hearing because he remained hospitalized.

An officer pulled up and saw Cockerham and two others walking at 71st and Merrill, Antoniette said. When the officer got out of the car and announced he was police, Cockerham ran eastbound on 71st as the other two put their hands up.

As Cockerham was running, he saw two other officers, turned around and ran westbound, Antoniette said. He came toward the first officer who had stopped him, and the officer saw a gun in his right hand.

Cockerham ran past the officer northbound on Merrill, then pointed the gun at the officer, Antoniette said. The officer fired, striking him at least once, authorities said.

A .45 caliber gun was recovered at the scene, Antoniette said.

Judge Laura Sullivan set bond at $100,000 for Cockerham, who had previous convictions for trying to disarm a police officer, and aggravated battery to an officer.

Desiree Carter, 30, who lives in South Shore and identified herself as a cousin, said she doesn’t believe the police narrative.

“He didn’t have no gun,” she said. “The police around here see him every day, they know him, that’s a lie… All he keeps on him is his headphones.”

Carter was one of about a dozen people gathered at the scene early Saturday.

Kesha Williams, 32, said she watched the shooting from her apartment window, where she was sitting while waiting for the father of her children.

“He didn’t do nothing,” Williams said, calling the man “Nunu” and adding she knows him from the neighborhood.

She said “Nunu” was shot six times. Once he was on the ground, Williams said an officer put him in handcuffs, then kicked him.

“He didn’t mess with nobody,” Williams said, adding she didn’t see a gun in his hand.

“He rapped. He liked to walk up and down the street and rap,” she said.

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