Police Kill Autistic Boy, 15, in His Home
1 year ago
Officers were called to the house by the family
Two Chicago police officers are on paid administrative leave after each shooting a 15-year-old autistic boy, known for being violent. Stephon Watts family called the police Wednesday morning after the boy refused to go to school.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
The family called police this morning after Stephon Watts, who suffered from Asperger's syndrome, became upset and did not want to go to school, said his mother Danelene Powell-Watts. Asperger's is an autism-type disorder in which a person often has normal or high intelligence, but struggles with social skills and repetitive behavior.
Police were called about 8:30 a.m. to the home in the 500 block of Forsythe Avenue, an address that was familiar with police, said Calumet City Police Chief Edward Gilmore. "This is an address that's flagged in our system as having a autistic young man there who is very strong and likes to fight with the police."
Five officers were consequently sent to the home, Gilmore told a news conference. When they arrived, the boy was in the basement, holding a kitchen knife, Gilmore said. Two of the officers went to the basement and the boy "lashed out" with the knife and struck one of them in the forearm, Gilmore said.
"At that time, cornered and having no way to retreat back up the stairs, the officers fired one shot each, striking the (boy) twice," Gilmore said. "Unfortunately, the officer thought that his life was in jeopardy."
Gilmore was uncertain of where Watts was hit, but his mother said the boy -- who stood at 5-foot-10 and weighed 220 pounds -- was shot in the head.
A report from the Lake County Coroner's office said Watts was pronounced dead ta 9:18 a.m. and his death was ruled a homicide adding he suffered a gunshot wound.
The officer who was cut was treated on the scene by paramedics, Gilmore said.
Police have been to the home 12 times since June 2010, 10 times to deal just with this boy and domestic issues involving him, Gilmore said.