Chicago is on edge after the shooting of yet another black teenager in disputed circumstances. Pierre Loury, 16, was shot dead after a foot chase Monday night. Police say he fled a vehicle believed to have been involved in an earlier shooting and was shot when he turned and pointed a gun at an officer. A witness and a police source say the teen tried to scale a fence and was shot after his clothes became caught. "They shot him in the air," the witness tells the Chicago Tribune. "His pants leg got caught on the fence and he hit the ground. If he hadn't gotten shot, he would have cleared the fence." Loury was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to the coroner.
Police say a gun was found at the scene, though Loury's family disputes this. The witness—who didn't speak to police because she feared a backlash—says she didn't see a gun in the teen's hand, but it was dark. The officer, who was not wearing a body camera, has been placed on desk duty for 30 days while the shooting is investigated. Police say Loury, a student at Chicago Christian Alternative Academy, was a known gang member who had "prior contact" with police. Family members and friends who joined a prayer vigil Tuesday night, however, say he was an average Chicago teen who aspired to be a rapper and was dealing with the challenges of living in the city, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. (Read more Chicago stories.)