Video: Ill. cops fatally shoot armed man in ER

Man became agitated over treatment and drew a handgun from his waistband in the deadly November 3 shooting

By Gregory Trotter
Chicago Tribune

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Medical staff flee from the hospital room, apparently fearing for their lives, in harrowing, newly released video footage of the Nov. 3 police shooting of a Waukegan man at NorthShore Highland Park Hospital.

Christopher Anderson, 27, and his 9-year-old daughter had been taken to the hospital with minor injuries the night of Nov. 2  after they were passengers in a car that had been involved in an accident. Anderson became agitated and aggressive toward hospital staff in the early morning hours of Nov. 3; he drew a handgun from his waistband and would not drop it.

In the video released late Tuesday by the Highland Park Police Department, a hospital surveillance camera just outside of Anderson's room captured medical staff scrambling for safety and police officers on the scene drawing their guns.

Two Highland Park police officers, whose identities have not been released, fired nine shots in about 1.7 seconds, officials have said, after attempts to persuade Anderson to drop his gun failed.

He was pronounced dead minutes later, after medical staff attempted to save his life. Last week, officials with the Lake County state's attorney's office and Highland Park Police Department said the shooting was justified and that the officers followed protocol.

In the video, a few minutes after people ran from the room, Anderson is seen being wheeled to another room on a gurney.

Two other short videos released Tuesday, filmed on a camera activated by a police officer's Taser, captured the raw emotion of the incident as shots were fired, and then later, as police officers approached Anderson, who was on the ground at that point, and tried to locate his gun.

"Don't ... move!" an officer shouted as they approached Anderson, who was lying in a pool of his own blood.

In the Taser video, an officer states repeatedly that he can't find the gun before it's determined that Anderson was lying on top of the weapon. They cuffs his wrists as one officer attempts to calm others on the scene.

"Everybody breathe," the officer said.

On Wednesday, Highland Park City Manager Ghida Neukirch said the officers' use of guns, instead of Tasers, followed protocol for stopping a person with a firearm.

"This truly was devastating for everyone involved," Neukirch said Wednesday.

At the time of the shooting, Anderson's daughter had been in a separate area of the hospital being assessed for a head injury, police officials have said. Prior to drawing the gun, Anderson had been arguing with medical staff about her treatment.

The girl was released to family members later on the morning of Nov. 3, officials said.

Last week, some family members of Anderson held a press conference after Anderson's funeral, demanding to see the videotapes and questioning whether the shooting was justified. They could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.

Anderson was a loving father of two and a welder by trade, friends and family have said.

He also had an extensive criminal record in Lake County, including recent convictions for aggravated battery, resisting or obstructing a police officer and burglary, and, in 2010, of escaping from Lake County Jail, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison. State records show he was paroled in May.

Anderson was also considered a suspect in a July hit-and-run accident in Waukegan, officials have said.

Copyright 2014 the Chicago Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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