By Peter Nickeas and Kim Geiger
8:09 PM CDT, June 16, 2013
Police shot and killed a 24-year-old man after he raised a handgun toward officers who chased him from a car that refused to stop early Sunday morning on the West Side, according to authorities.
The man stumbled into an alley west of Springfield Avenue and north of 18th Street in the Lawndale neighborhood after police tried to stop a car he was in about 2:30 a.m., police and Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Patrick Camden said.
Uniformed officers made a number of attempts to curb the car, which kept slowing down and speeding up, and after a few of the stop-and-goes a man jumped out and ran, Camden said.
Police stayed with the runner while asking for help and he ducked into the alley west of Springfield Avenue and fell, Camden and police said.
Officers giving chase saw he had a weapon as soon as he jumped out the car, police said.
Police and Camden said the man raised a 9-millimeter handgun with one hand as he tried to get up with the other and police, who were out of their car at this point, opened fire.
The man was later identified as Antwon Johnson who was pronounced dead at the scene at 4:11 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Johnson’s mother, Stacy Liberty, said she rushed to the scene of the shooting early Sunday morning after learning about it from a family friend. When she got there, she saw her son’s body laying lifeless in the alley.
“He was laying flat on his stomach with handcuffs on, dead,” Liberty said. It took hours for police to move the body, she said.
Liberty said she didn’t believe the police account of what happened.
“It’s not true,” she said. “How could someone have a gun and point it to you if they’re already on the ground?”
Liberty said the car had been lurching down the block because the people in the car were trying to identify an address. The presence of a police car behind them must have made Johnson “nervous,” his mother said.
Johnson, of the 4700 block of South Wabash Avenue, had been convicted three times for drug related charges stemming back to 2006, according to court records. He was shot three times in a shooting almost two years ago, which left him with a scar on his stomach, she said.
But with two five-year-old sons, he was trying to get his life back on track.
“He hasn’t been in trouble in a while,” Liberty said. “He was trying to get his stuff together. Black men on the street today, it’s tough for them to get a job because the first thing (employers) look at is their record.”
Johnson attended Lincoln Park High School but only made it through the 11th grade, Liberty said.
“He was a very outgoing person,” Liberty said. “He was loved by everybody. He was sweet. If he had it, he gave it to you, no matter what it was.”
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