No Charges For Illinois Officer Who Shot Teen in Back
ZION, Ill., May 14 (UPI) — An Illinois police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting a 17-year-old boy twice in the back, prosecutors said Thursday.
Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim said the shooting of Justus Howell on April 4 was justified.
The teenager was killed in Zion, Ill., after police were called to a residence due to a reported fight and sound of gunshot. Police said when they arrived at the scene, Howell fled and officers chased after him. One officer, Eric Hill, shot the teen twice in the back.
Investigators determined Howell had a gun in his right hand and had leaned forward and turned slightly toward Hill during the confrontation, Nerheim said. The gun was located within a foot of Howell’s body and had the teen’s fingerprints and DNA on it.
Howell’s mother, LaToya Howell, criticized the decision not to press charges against Hill.
“There is nothing to suggest they (police) should execute my son,” she said. “He was running. If his back was turned, how could you be a threat?”
Two people who live near where Howell was shot told the Chicago Sun-Times the teen did not appear to be armed at the time of the incident. His death sparked a number of marches and protests throughout the city.