A split-second chase and fatal decision: how an officer killed Adam Toledo


Body camera footage released Thursday by an independent city of Chicago agency showed police officer Eric E. Stillman killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo following an early morning foot chase on March 29 in the West Side of the city.

The footage sparked renewed anger against Chicago police and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who initially backed prosecutors’ claim that the teen was holding a gun when he was shot – a claim authorities are responding to. are retracted Thursday before the images are published.

The main showdown – in which Adam appears to throw a handgun aside before turning around with his hands raised and Agent Stillman shoots him – is over in less than a second.

Because the shoot went so quickly, we identified the keyframes in the video to better understand what happened.

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Here is what they show.

Constable Stillman’s body camera footage begins as he and his partner respond to a report of gunfire in the Little Village neighborhood at 2:36 am. Two minutes later, Constable Stillman exits his car and begins to chase two people on foot in an alley that passes behind. South Sawyer Avenue.

Officer Stillman pushes a man to the ground, leaving him for his partner, and continues to chase Adam with his gun in hand. “Police, stop, stop now!” he shouts, adding vulgarity.

“Drop it!” Officer Stillman yells.

Adam begins to turn to him.

Video from a security camera mounted on a nearby school appears to show Adam throwing the handgun behind a fence as he turns around.

The action is not visible on the body camera images. But as Adam faces Agent Stillman, his hands are raised and he no longer holds the gun.

Officer Stillman yells “Forget it!” again as Adam turns around, but less than a second later he fires a shot, and Adam falls to the ground.

Agent Stillman immediately calls an ambulance and tries to speak to Adam. Adam does not respond and blood is visible on the front of his shirt and on his face.

“Stay with me, stay with me,” said Agent Stillman.

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“Someone’s bringing a medical kit now,” he said into his radio.

Another officer arrives, and Officer Stillman tells him that Adam’s wound is in the upper chest and that he cannot feel Adam’s heartbeat.

Agent Stillman walks away as other agents arrive to help. Two minutes later, his body camera shows a handgun behind the fence.

Ruben Roman, 21, authorities said was with Adam that morning, was charged with reckless discharge, unlawful use of a weapon and endangering children. According to prosecutors, a video shows Mr. Roman and Adam walking together on a west side street at around 2:30 am Mr. Roman, holding a gun, appears to fire several shots at an unknown target.

Julie Bosman and Neil MacFarquhar contributed reporting.