Chicago is mourning the loss of Maurice Granton Jr. after he was fatally shot in the back by the police on Wednesday, June 6.
According to The Associated Press, the Chicago Police Department (CPD)'s Sergeant Rocco Alioto called the incident an “armed confrontation.” The department claims Granton pulled a gun while he was running away.
Granton's family is still looking for answers to why the encounter took a deadly turn.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's office has confirmed the 24-year-old died of a gunshot wound to the back after an officer fired his weapon three times. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability is currently investigating the incident. WGN 9 reports authorities will release the shooting footage within 60 days.
BREAKING: Autopsy confirms Maurice Granton Jr. died from gunshot wound to the back. Family says they heard he was was shot at 12 times. Here is video police JUST released from BEFORE the incident last night. @WGNNews
— Meghan Dwyer (@MeghanAnnDwyer) June 7, 2018
CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said officers involved in a narcotics investigation in the city's South Side area were monitoring what appeared to be a drug transaction. Officers were dispatched to the scene and approached Granton.
The CPD says Granton ran from the officers; it claims its officers then instructed Granton to stop, after which he "produced a weapon." That is when one of the officers on the scene fired the fatal shots.
Granton's sister, Joanna Varnado, isn't satisfied with the official narrative.
“Since when does running validate somebody getting shot?” Varnado asked.
Officials have not disclosed the race of the officer who fired the fatal shot, but he is on administrative leave.
Guglielmi posted a photo of what is allegedly Granton’s weapon as found at the scene on Twitter. He said there is physical evidence someone had fired the gun. However, some are accusing the department of planting the weapon.
Offenders weapon recovered by police. pic.twitter.com/wUP0CR5YVs
— Anthony Guglielmi (@AJGuglielmi) June 7, 2018
This shooting comes days after the Chicago Police Department faced criticism for handcuffing and questioning a 10-year-old boy, and as it faces questions as to the force it chooses to use when interacting with black suspects.
White officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald last year following an attempted cover-up. Granton's family believes that this is another, similar, example of excessive force ending in tragedy.
At a candlelight vigil that was held Thursday evening for Granton, nearly 100 people gathered at the scene of the shooting voicing their anger with the police department and the mayor.
Vigil for Maurice Granton Jr. — about 100 people here demanding answers from the mayor and the police department. @WGNNews
— Meghan Dwyer (@MeghanAnnDwyer) June 8, 2018
Family and friends mourn the loss of 24-year–old Maurice Granton Jr. who was killed by police yesterday in the Bronzeville neighborhood. #gettyimagesnews
— scott olson (@olsongetty) June 8, 2018
“The Chicago Police Department is still out here killing young people," activist Kofi Ademola said, according to WGN 9. "Shooting them in the back while they’re trying to flee for their lives."
Granton was a father to two young daughters who will now be forced to go on without their father.
"I just want to know what the real story is," Varnado said. "If it was misconduct, I want justice. My brother was 24 years old. He loved his girls. That's all he lived for, was his kids."