CALUMET CITY, Ill.—Two Calumet City police officers shot and killed a teen who suffered from Asperger's syndromeduring a domestic disturbance call Wednesday.
Just before 8:30 a.m., Calumet City police responded to a call at the home on the 500 block of Forsythe. Police say 15-year-old Stephon Watts was in the basement and apparently had been fighting with his father.
When two officers went downstairs, police say the boy lunged at the officers with a knife.
The boy's father, who witnessed it, says it was only a butter knife.
Both officers fired one shot each at the boy. He was pronounced dead the hospital a short while later.
The Calumet City police chief says the officers had no choice but to shoot.
Police say they knew the boy suffered fromAsperger's syndrome. They had previously responded to the home 10 times and say the boy had attacked officers before.
When asked why the officers didn't use their tasers instead of guns Calumet City Police Chief Edward Gilmore said, “The lead officer did not have a taser. As he came down the stairs he was immediately confronted by the offender , who slashed his arm.”
Police say the one officer was cut in the forearm but the wound wasn't serious.
The boy's family says the use of deadly force was not necessary and that officers should have been prepared with tasers.
“What they did to my son was not justifiable,” said Stephon’s father Steve Watts. “They murdered that kid."
The two officers that have fired the shots that killed Stephon have been placed on paid administrative leave, while the Illinois State Police investigate this matter.
The community is gathering tonight for a vigil, what they are calling a "peaceful protest", at the Calumet City Police Department at 7 p.m.