Off-duty Chicago cop warns alleged thief she’ll ‘kill’ him before fatal shooting: footage
By David Propper
An off-duty Chicago cop warned a potential robber she’d kill him, and then followed through on that pledge when she fired three shots at the man, footage from the wild scene showed.
The police officer issued the threat on Jan. 17 after the suspect appeared to grab her gun minutes after she broke up a fight among four people — including the alleged thief, officials said.
As the two wrestled and fell to the ground, the handgun went off and hit 39-year-old Leevon Smith, according to Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).
“I’ll kill you,” she told Smith before the shots rang out.
After the first two shots go off, Smith says, “you got me, you got me,” according to audio and video of the incident released by the accountability office.
The off-duty officer then says, “I told your dumb— I’d kill you,” as she fires the third and final shot.
The off-duty cop holds her gun as Smith wrestles with her on Jan. 17, 2023, in Chicago.COPA
“Damn, baby, I’m sorry,” a wounded Smith replies, adding moments later. “I don’t want to die.”
Afterward, the officer yells out for someone to call the police as she continues to admonish Smith for attempting to take her gun, the footage showed.
“You thought I was playing, I told you I’d shoot you,” the officer says.
Smith and the off-duty cop fight after the would-be thief attacked the officer.COPA
“I told your dumb— I’d shoot you,” the unnamed cop also additionally says. “You tried to steal my f—ing gun.”
The footage and audio are not synced, COPA said.
Smith was taken to the hospital, where he died two days later, CBS Chicago reported. Police said in January the officer was placed on routine 30-day administrative duty.
A tactical report indicates Chicago police determined the suspect tried to grab the off-duty officer’s weapon and was an imminent threat to her. The officer suffered a cut above her right eye, according to the police arrest report.
The officer was one of several people to call 911 after the shooting, telling the dispatch she was robbed and that she shot a man.
“Oh my God, he just tried to rob me,” the shaken officer said on the call.
She said she tried to call her bosses, but no one was answering her calls.
“He just tried to steal my off-duty gun,” she told first responders on the scene.
The off-duty cop puts a hand on Smith prior to the shooting on Jan. 17, 2023.COPA
First responders work the scene following the shooting on Jan. 17, 2023.COPA
The officer joined the force last June, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
She has not been charged in the shooting, though Smith’s family is suing the city and officer for $10 million over the fatal encounter, the newspaper reported.
Smith was reportedly charged by prosecutors with attempted robbery and aggravated battery, according to the arrest report before his death.