Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Thursday that investigators are still searching for the gun a Chicago police officer said a 19-year-old man twice pointed at him during a foot chase, which led the officer to fatally shoot Kajuan Raye late Wednesday night in the West Englewood neighborhood.
“We conducted and completed a grid search during the overnight hours for ballistic evidence and the offender’s weapon and we were not able to locate a weapon as of yet,” Johnson said during a Thanksgiving Day news conference at police headquarters.
“Unfortunately we still do not have a complete synopsis of exactly how and what transpired,” said Johnson, who wore jeans and sweatshirt as he read a prepared statement for just over a minute.
“There are still many unanswered questions and we are working diligently to find those answers,” Johnson said, noting that the Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates officer-involved shootings, is investigating the incident.
“But in an effort to be as transparent as possible, I wanted to make sure we shared what information we know at this point. … It’s important to note that there is still a lot of investigating going on as we have some missing information in our timeline, so I ask that we wait for detectives to let evidence tell our story,” he said. “Detectives and evidence technicians are now in the process of retrieving surveillance video that may have captured the account.”
Johnson did not take questions at the news conference, so it is unclear whether the police sergeant who fatally shot Raye was wearing a body camera. But IPRA spokeswoman Mia Sissac said officers in the police district the sergeant works out of have not received body cameras, which are part of a pilot program. She could offer no additional details.
Johnson said the sergeant, responding to a battery in progress call, spotted Raye — who matched a description of the offender — in the 1400 block of West 65th Street at 11:07 pm.
“Based upon the sergeant’s statement to investigators, the sergeant then approached and announced his office at which time the offender fled on foot with the sergeant in pursuit,” Johnson said.
“The sergeant then told investigators that the offender turned and pointed a weapon in the direction of the sergeant on two separate occasions,” he said.
“The sergeant then indicated that he discharged his weapon striking the offender,” Johnson said, adding that the sergeant was not injured.
The shooting occurred in the 6500 block of South Marshfield, a few blocks from where the chase began.
Raye was shot multiple times and taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He lived in the 1400 block of East 156th Street in Dolton.
The sergeant will be placed on desk duty for 30 days, per CPD policy.
Raye’s mother, 38-year-old Karonisha Ramsey, said her son was with friends in a neighborhood he wasn’t familiar with when they decided to get the bus home. His friend told her the police pulled up and Raye ran.
“Next thing you know, all he heard is gunshots,” Ramsey said. “It happened real quick.”
Ramsey said she doesn’t know if her son had a gun.
“A gun should have been right there when they killed him,” she said.
Raye attended Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie, Texas, and lived with his grandmother and aunt. He returned home to live with his mother in Dolton when he turned 18, Ramsey said, adding that her son was trying to get a job but didn’t have a high school diploma.
Ramsey said she hadn’t spoken to the police as of Thursday morning. A doctor at Christ told her Raye died on the way to the hospital.
“The doctors at the hospital told me when he arrived there he had no pulse. They said they tried to revive him, they tried to do everything they could,” Ramsey said.
Raye pleaded guilty to theft on Sept. 10, 2015, and was sentenced to court supervision, according to Cook County court records. On July 25, a warrant was issued for his arrest because he violated supervision.
Less than a week earlier, a man was fatally shot by CPD officers about a mile away in the same neighborhood.