Transgender man armed with pellet gun fatally shot by police in Villa Park

Chicago News
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VILLA PARK, Ill. — A transgender man was fatally shot by police in Villa Park Monday morning.

Police say the shooting happened around 2 a.m. in the 200 block of E. Kenilworth as officers responded to a call of a person with a gun. Upon arrival, law enforcement encountered a man with a gun, which led to an officer-involved shooting. 

Life-saving measures were executed at the scene. The man was eventually transported to the hospital, where he later died.

Police later identified the shooting victim as Haven A. Bailey.

Police described the incident, saying in part, “Villa Park police officers arrived in the area and encountered a person who walked directly toward them while armed with a handgun. Investigators learned that officers told the person to drop the gun several times. An officer, in fear for his life, shot the person four times when they refused to drop the gun.”

A black pellet gun made to look like a Sig Sauer 1911 pistol was recovered from the scene, police added.

“The preliminary investigation revealed Bailey made the initial 911 call to report the person with a gun in the street,” police said. The DuPage County M.E.R.I.T. Public Integrity Unit is currently investigating the incident.

Bailey’s family says he was mentally ill, diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. The family adds that Bailey was also struggling with alcohol addiction and had many run-ins with the police in the past.

According to family members, Bailey also told police in prior incidents that he was suicidal and sought ‘death by cop.’

Sharon Martig, manager of the halfway house which Bailey had been staying at, said the shooting victim “was acting erratic and pulled it on the officer and he shot [him] in the stomach.”

Police and Martig identified Bailey as a woman but family members say he was a transgender man.

The graduate of Willowbrook High School loved fishing and animals. He had also been in and out of foster care his entire life. Struggling to find stability, Bailey was supposed to enroll in a treatment center for his alcoholism but instead rented a room he found on Facebook in the halfway house located in the 200 block of Kilpatrick Avenue in Villa Park. That’s where police said he was when he called 911 just after 2 a.m. early Monday morning.

Martig said Bailey was waving a pellet gun at the officer who was called to the scene and said the officer must have gotten scared. She said Bailey never fought with anybody at the halfway house and was really polite.

“I never expected [him] to have this other side here,” Martig said. “So we’re very sorry it happened.”

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