Police identify, charge student shot by University of Chicago officer

Image 1 of 4

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Charges have been filed against the student shot by a University of Chicago police officer Tuesday night.

Charles Thomas, 21, of the 5400 block of South Kimbark Avenue, was charged with one felony count of aggravated assault of a peace officer, two felony counts of criminal damage to property more than $300,000 and two misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property, Chicago Police said.

Thomas was shot by university police after reports of a burglary Tuesday night in the alley between South Kimbark and South Woodlawn Avenue near 53rd Street in the South Side Hyde Park neighborhood, according to Assistant Vice President for Communications Jeremy Manier.

When officers arrived they found a man “with a long metal pipe, breaking car and apartment windows,” Manier said. Body camera footage released Wednesday night shows the student wearing a visor over his face and rubber gloves on his hands while holding the pipe.

The video appears to show the student repeatedly yelling “f— you” before he charges at one of the officers.

“Sir, I’m going to need you to drop that weapon. Drop that weapon,” the officer yells as he walks backward for nearly 50 seconds. “Don’t come at me! Don’t come at me!”

When he was within a few yards, the officer fired one shot, striking him in the shoulder.

Thomas was initially taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition but has since been stabilized, officials said. The student’s parents have been contacted about the shooting.

He was still in the hospital early Thursday, police said

The firing officer, who has been on the police force for two years, has been placed on mandatory administrative leave as the incident is investigated, officials said. He had been trained on crisis and mental health intervention.

Chicago Police and the University Department of Safety and Security were  investigating the shooting, officials said.