Chicago Police released a video Thursday that shows Maurice Granton, Jr. holding a semi-automatic handgun hours before he was fatally shot by a police officer Wednesday night in Bronzeville, according to CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
Officers were on a narcotics mission in the 300 block of East 47th Street when officials say Granton pulled a gun on tactical officers who were trying to stop him about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. One officer opened fire during the “armed encounter,” according to a police statement, striking Granton in the back.
Paramedics took Granton to the University of Chicago Medicine trauma center, and he was pronounced dead at 8:41 p.m., police said. An autopsy Thursday found Granton suffered a gunshot wound to his back, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Guglielmi shared the video, as well as a photo of a gun allegedly recovered from Granton at the scene, “in response to claims that offender was unarmed and the weapon was planted by CPD officers,” he said.
Family members who held a vigil for Granton Thursday evening said they don’t believe he had a gun, and they claimed the officer fired 12 rounds — because he was “mad” because a sergeant had hurt his ankle during the chase — hitting Granton at least six times.
Guglielmi said on Twitter Wednesday that an officer at the scene “sustained [a] possible broken ankle during [the] confrontation.”
The Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates shootings by officers, said the officer fired three times. Before Guglielmi’s tweet, the agency had promised to release body-camera footage within 60 days.
Granton, a father of two young daughters, previously had been convicted of robbery and theft, court records show. Family members and friends described him as a loving person.
“He was silly, goofy, fun,” Granton’s sister Joanna Varnado, said at the vigil Thursday. “He cared about his family. Everything was about family.”
The officer who opened fire is on desk duty for 30 days, per CPD policy.