‘This could’ve been a tragedy.’ No one hurt when 10-year-old boy fires at Chicago cops during standoff at Beverly home

The boy’s grandfather said the child was angry that his mother asked him to clean up around the house. He grabbed a gun from his mother’s purse. No one was hurt.

SHARE ‘This could’ve been a tragedy.’ No one hurt when 10-year-old boy fires at Chicago cops during standoff at Beverly home
Chicago police continue to work the scene of a stand off between Chicago Police’s SWAT and a armed 10-year-old boy in the 9800 block of S. Charles St. in the Beverly neighborhood, Monday, July 24, 2023.

Chicago police collect evidence at a home in Beverly where a standoff between SWAT officers and an armed 10-year-old boy ended with the boy being taken into custody on Monday.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

No one was hurt when a 10-year-old boy fired a shot at Chicago police officers during a standoff Monday at a home in the Beverly neighborhood.

Officers responded about 11:20 a.m. after learning the boy had fired shots inside the home in the 9800 block of South Charles Street, police said in a statement, which noted he was experiencing “mental distress.”

The boy stepped out on a porch and pointed a gun at the responding officers and at his own head, Chicago Police Deputy Chief Migdalia Bulnes told reporters near the scene. He then fired a single gunshot, sending officers ducking for cover.

Officers tried to de-escalate the situation by firing bean bag rounds at the home without striking the boy, but “it was too quick for them to bring a negotiator out,” Bulnes said. After going back inside and then returning to the porch, the boy pointed the gun at his head again.

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Chicago police look for evidence outside a home in Beverly where a 10-year-old boy fired shots inside. He fired a single shot at responding officers. The boy, who was experiencing “mental distress,” was taken to a hospital for observation.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Officers fired a chemical at the porch, scaring the boy. He threw the gun down and was then detained without incident. He was taken to a hospital for observation.

“It really puts your training into perspective,” Bulnes said of the police response. “It’s a little bit more delicate because he’s 10 years old, and he’s in distress. And we know that. He’s a child, so that’s what’s in our mind when we have discussions of what’s the next step.”

The boy’s grandfather, Thurston Daniels, said the boy lashed out when his mother asked him to clean up around the house and grabbed a gun from her purse.

Daniels said his grandson had thrown tantrums in the past, but nothing that rose to this level.

“He’s just a typical bad boy,” Daniels said.

Neighbors said they sometimes saw the boy and his younger sibling playing outside, much like other kids in the tight-knit neighborhood.

But Jennifer Mitchell, a neighbor who has lived on the block for decades, said the boy’s mother had gotten calls from his school about him causing “trouble” there.

Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) acknowledged that neighbors reported seeing warning signs, but his office was never alerted. He said he believes two family members were at the home during the standoff, including the boy’s mother.

“Everybody wants to get a gun now. … But it’s incumbent on adults who get weapons to properly store the weapon, not where little boys can get ahold of it — little boys that have histories of mental health issues,” O’Shea said. “I mean, this could’ve been a tragedy going in multiple directions.”

He added: “You’ve got shots fired in the house, shots fired at the police, and everybody goes home. That never happens.”

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After a standoff in which officers fired bean bag rounds and chemicals at the porch where the boy was standing, the boy surrendered, dropping the gun. His grandfather said the boy lashed out when his mother asked him to clean up around the house, and he grabbed a gun from her purse.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Neighbors described staying away from the windows and hiding behind walls in their homes as the standoff was unfolding on the normally quiet block.

“At the first shot, we couldn’t figure out what was going on,” said Mitchell. “And then I saw the SWAT team come out with the mother and a little boy. And I said, wait a minute there’s another child supposed to be in there.”

Another neighbor, who asked not to be named out of concern for her safety, said she and her children sought shelter in their basement when the gunfire started.

“I was just praying in the house that nobody would be injured,” she said.

The woman heard the police officers pleading with the boy to drop the gun.

“They were asking the boy to drop the gun, saying please don’t do this, we’re here to help you,” the woman said.

Lynette Peterson heard the boy shout back to the officers that he was going to harm himself.

“I was like oh my God this is not good,” Peterson said.

She said she was glad that the officers were patient and resolved the situation without anyone being hurt.

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