Almost two months have passed since a 95-year-old man was fatally tased and shot with a bean bag gun by a police officer in a Chicago-area assisted-living home, but those who knew John Wrana have not given up their fight for answers to the many questions that remain in the incident.
Last week, the family of Wrana emphasized at a press conference that they believe police used a "truly excessive" amount of force on the evening of July 26, when they were called to the facility where the World War II veteran lived, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report. They say someone needs to be accountable for the loss of their loved one.
As police tell it, Wrana -- who was a resident at Victory Centre Senior Living Facility in south suburban Park Forest -- was refusing medical treatment from staff when they were called to the home. When police arrived at Victory Centre, they say Wrana threatened them with a cane and a 12-inch knife and they used a stun gun in an attempt to subdue him, ABC Chicago reports. They then proceeded to storm into room in riot gear and shoot him in the stomach at close range with a bean bag gun.
Wrana died from internal bleeding at an area hospital hours after the confrontation and his death has been ruled a homicide and the incident is now under review by the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit.
But Wrana's family isn't buying into the official account of the struggle that took the elderly man's life.
Wrana, his stepdaughter and caretaker Sharon Mangerson said last week, was in a "very fragile state of health," was suffering from a urinary tract infection at the time of the fatal altercation and relied on his cane to get around. Police could have used other means to subdue him, they claim, according to the Chicago Tribune's John Kass.
Nicholas Grapsas, the family's attorney, told ABC that, based on the information he's been given, police shot the bean bag gun as close as just five feet away from Wrana as much as three times.
"I believe that the knife in and of itself does not make this a lesser excessive use of force," Grapsas told the station.
The family has yet to file a lawsuit pending the results of the investigation. No police officers have been reprimanded in the incident.
"There are so many lawsuits done in this country and in this world today that are ridiculous. I don’t believe in that," Mangerson told CBS Chicago, while noting she still wants "somebody to be accountable for this."
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