Man shot by Chicago police in North Lawndale, down the block from elementary school

The shooting occurred around 12:05 p.m. in the 2100 block of South St. Louis Avenue. A man in his 20s was taken to a hospital in critical condition, officials said,

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A Chicago police officer shot a man during a foot chase Monday in North Lawndale, just steps from an elementary school, police said.

Officers in an unmarked squad car saw a group of people near a vehicle that was double-parked in the 2100 block of South St. Louis Avenue about 11:35 a.m., Chicago police said in a statement.

Officers tried to “conduct an investigatory stop” and the man took off “while in possession of a firearm,” police said. The officers followed him to a vacant lot and one of them opened fire, police said.

The man was struck in his upper body and rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. Chicago Fire Department officials said he was in his 20s.

A gun was recovered at the scene, police said.

But relatives of the man said he was not armed. “They say he had a gun but he showed he didn’t have a gun,” Ebony Chapman, who identified herself as the man’s sister, told reporters. “So he started running... but he surrendered and you shoot him.”

She said her brother was alert and talking.

No officers were hurt, police said. Those involved in the shooting are being placed on routine administrative duties for at least 30 days pursuant to department policy.

The shooting happened so close to Crown Community Academy of Fine Arts that members of the administration “heard shots fired in the vicinity of the school,” principal Zarree Walker wrote to parents later Monday.

“We immediately brought all students and staff inside the school building and contacted the [Chicago Public Schools’] Office of Safety and Security, who in turn contacted the Chicago Police Department,” Walker said. “CPD informed us that the area was secure and there was no longer a safety threat.

“The incident was not directly related to our school, and everyone is safe.”

After-school security was bolstered “out of an abundance of caution,” with both police and CPS security remaining “on-site to provide support,” Walker said. She urged parents to contact the school for help if a student “voices any concerns or fears about the incident.”

It took police officials more than four hours to issue a statement on the shooting, and they didn’t hold a news conference to take questions from the media.

Last week, it took more than seven hours for the department to comment on a fatal police shooting near an Irving Park bar that also happened during a foot pursuit. Police Supt. David Brown initially said a man had been killed during “an apparent exchange of gunfire” with officers.

The following day, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability said it was “unclear ... if the individual discharged his weapon at police.”

COPA said it was responding to Monday’s shooting shortly after it happened. Anyone with information about the shooting should call the oversight agency at (312) 746-3609.

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