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Police say teen fatally shot himself during Lawndale chase; residents dispute it

Sun-Times file photo

A teenage boy was fatally wounded by a gunshot Friday evening during a police chase in Lawndale, officers said.

But while officers say the boy shot himself, some in the community are disputing that.

Chicago police say the chase started after officers saw the boy with a gun about 6:55 p.m. in the 1500 block of South Keeler.

They questioned the 16-year-old; he ran away and, police say, eventually shot himself in the head. Paramedics took him in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The boy was identified as Steven Rosenthal by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. He lived in the same block where the shooting happened. An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause and manner of death.

Alonzo Crowder, the head coach of the boys basketball team at Crane Medical Prep High School, said Rosenthal played on the Crane basketball team. Crowder was one of many taking the social media to take issue with the police version of events.

After news of Rosenthal’s death spread, Crowder tweeted again, calling him “Respectful and hard working” and adding: “I never met a kid with a bigger heart.”

A Facebook user live-streamed an hour-long video from the scene, where a crowd gathered as police investigated. The crowd shouted at officers as some cried, including a group of boys who identified themselves as Rosenthal’s cousins.

Contributing: Michael O’Brien