CHICAGO (AP) — A young man who was with a 13-year-old boy fatally shot by a Chicago police officer last month fired the rounds that drew the officer’s attention, prosecutors said Saturday.
Ruben Roman, 21, is seen on video firing the weapon that brought police to the Little Village neighborhood on the night of March 29. He and 13-year-old Adam Toledo fled the scene together, with officers in pursuit, prosecutors said.
Roman was arrested as another officer chased Toledo, who was holding a gun when the officer shot him, prosecutors said. That gun matched the spent cartridge casings that were found in the area where Roman was firing, prosecutors said.
“If the defendant does not bring the 13-year-old with him, if he doesn’t bring his gun with him while on gun offender probation, if he doesn’t shoot that gun seven to eight times on a city street with the victim standing in arms length of him while he’s firing those shots … none of it would have happened,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said in court, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Roman’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood, vigorously rejected the implication that Roman is responsible for Toledo’s death, noting that the gun was allegedly recovered from Toledo.
“The victim is dead at the hand of the Chicago police officers, not my client,” she said, calling Toledo’s death “tragic.”
Roman was ordered held on $150,000 bond on charges of child endangerment and gun possession.
Lawyers for the Toledo family said they were present during the bond hearing but the statement released by the WeissOrtiz, PC firm said it was not in a position to comment. The statement added that the firm has an appointment this coming week with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability to view police body camera footage and other materials from the March 29 police shooting.