19-year-old shot by Chicago cop died from wound to the back, death ruled homicide

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A 19-year-old man fatally shot by a Chicago police sergeant died from a gunshot wound to his back, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Friday.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Thursday that the officer shot Kajuan Raye Wednesday night after Raye twice turned and pointed a gun at him during a foot chase, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

An autopsy Friday found that Raye died from a gunshot wound to the back, according to the medical examiner’s office. His death was ruled a homicide.

As of Thursday, Johnson said officers had not found the gun Raye pointed, and a police spokesperson referred a reporter to Johnson’s statement when asked if there were any updates on finding any gun.

“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 if the police sergeant who fatally shot Kajuan Raye was wearing a body camera.

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,” Johnson 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, 19, was shot multiple times and taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead, according to the 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,” Raye 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 hasn’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.

A spokeswoman for the Independent Police Review Authority could not be reached for more details.

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.