CHICAGO -- A man was shot and killed by an off-duty Chicago police officer Saturday afternoon in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood. The man was riding as part of a funeral procession, his family says, when what officials are calling a "road rage incident" escalated and he was shot and killed.
During a short press conference, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson described the chaotic scene near 111th and Troy that led to the fatal shooting around 3 p.m. Saturday.
Johnson said it began as a "road rage incident" between multiple people and a "fire department member." Then, Johnson said, an off-duty police officer who was in a barbershop across the street saw the fight and headed over, "announcing his office" as he got involved. That's when "the subject," identified by his family as 25-year-old Joshua Beal, "displayed a weapon," according to Johnson.
"A CPD police sergeant that was on his way to work observed the subject and at that time shots were fired and the subject was fatally struck," Johnson said.
Johnson said the case is being investigated by IPRA so they can't discuss any further details.
In a release issued later, CPD confirmed the details of Johnson's statement, and said the initial altercation began when the vehicle stopped directly in front of a fire house and an off-duty firefighter "notified the driver that they were illegally blocking the fire lane."
Then, according to CPD:
"a Chicago Police Sergeant driving to work discovered the altercation and observed a male with a firearm in his hand. The Sergeant stopped, exited his vehicle, displayed his weapon and announced his office. As the incident continued to escalate and the offender failed to drop his weapon, shots were fired striking the individual multiple times."
Beal's family gave a different story Saturday.
Family members said Beal was riding in a car with family as part of a funeral for his cousin, who was shot and killed in Indiana. Family members said Beal was a father of two and was in Chicago from Indianapolis for the funeral.
They said Beal was riding in a car driven by his 17-year-old sister as part of the funeral procession, and had just left Mount Hope Cemetery when the car was forced off the road by what they described as an off-duty police vehicle.
Then they say they saw the driver get out of the car, and officers then pointed a gun at her head. That's when they say Beal told police he had a concealed carry license and had a weapon on him. That's when the family says one of the off duty officers shot at Joshua Beal through the window of the car before walking to his side of the car and continuing to fire.
Beal's mother said he was shot twice in the back and three times in the chest, and she was not allowed to see him at Christ Hospital but she was told that he wasn't able to survive his injuries.
"This has to stop, my son didn't even live here, he came here for a funeral to bury his first cousin, now my grandkids are left without a father; he was a good man, worked hard to take care of his children," she said.