Jimmell Cannon was in serious to critical condition late Monday night at Chicago's Stroger Hospital, as the 13-year-old was riddled with bullets -- two in the hand, two in the shoulder, four in the leg.
The 13-year-old boy, whose parents describe him as a fun-loving, "straight A-B student," wasn't the victim of gang violence or a crazed attacker. Instead, the gunmen were Chicago police officers.
According to FOX Chicago, police arrived at a park near the Piccolo Specialty School where Jimmell attends to respond to a call of shots fired. They claim Jimmell matched the description of the shooter, so they came after him. He appeared to be holding a weapon in his hand, police say, and when they asked him to lower it, he refused. When he pointed the weapon in the officers' direction, they opened fire. Apparently, eight rounds were required to subdue the 13-year-old.
The weapon they allege he was holding was a BB gun, but the Fraternal Order of Police says that officers handled the situation correctly because toy guns and real ones can be indistinguishable even to trained police officers.
That's the cops' side of the story.
The Chicago Tribune spoke to Jimmell's family and some witnesses on the scene, who describe the events quite differently. They say the family was gathered in the park to celebrate a cousin's birthday. "We all was just lingering together," his mother said.
When he was shot, according to family, Jimmell's hands were in the air. And he wasn't holding a gun of any kind, BB or otherwise.
"I know my son," Jimmy Porter, Cannon's father, told NBC Chicago. "He doesn't carry weapons or hang around people who carry weapons. He's a 13 year old, he plays basketball."
Cannon wasn't the only one gunned down by police last night, though he's expected to recover from his wounds. Another West Side man was shot after also allegedly pointing a weapon at police. In fact, police-related shootings and fatalities are vastly higher this year than the year before -- already just through June, more people have died from police bullets than did all last year.
Watch Cannon's mother speak out:
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.
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