Illinois state authorities investigating fatal shooting of black teen by officer

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Illinois State Police are investigating after a suburban Chicago police officer fatally shot a Black teenager who was a passenger in a vehicle that rolled in reverse toward an officer, authorities said Wednesday.

Officials haven’t identified the dead teen, nor the driver, a Waukegan woman in her 20s who was wounded during the shooting. She was hospitalized in serious condition.

The two were in a vehicle that fled a traffic stop late Tuesday, according to Waukegan police. It was spotted a short time later by an officer on patrol. While the officer was approaching the vehicle, it began moving in reverse. Authorities said the officer, fearing for his safety, opened fire.

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The Lake County coroner’s office has not yet released details on the wounds suffered by the dead teen. No weapon was found in the vehicle, police added.

Body camera and squad car video has been turned over to Illinois State Police, Waukegan police Commander Edgar Navarro said. State police will present its findings to the Lake County state’s attorney’s office.

Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim noted in a statement that it may be several weeks before the investigation is completed.

“Once I have had the opportunity to review the entire investigation, I will make a determination regarding whether the officers violated any laws,” Nerheim said. “Should it be determined the officers violated a law, they will be criminally charged.”

Family members of the wounded woman, including her parents, gathered outside Waukegan police headquarters Wednesday afternoon. The woman’s mother said her daughter and the teenager hadn’t done anything to provoke the shooting.

During a Wednesday news conference, Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham asked city residents to wait until all the facts are known before reacting to the incident.

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