Chicago police shot and killed two people early Saturday morning after responding to what they called a domestic disturbance call.
According to NBC 5, police fatally shot Quintonio Legrier, a student at Northern Illinois University, after responding to a call from Legrier’s father. Family at the scene say that police were called after Legrier threatened his father with a baseball bat.
However, Janet Cookery, Legrier’s mother, said her son suffered from mental illness. “He was having a mental situation. Sometimes he will get loud, but not violent,” Cookery told WLS-TV in Chicago.
Police shootings of people suffering from mental illness are a common occurrence. According to a Washington Post investigation, police shot and killed 124 people “in the throes of mental or emotional crisis” in the first six months of 2015. That accounted for nearly one-fourth of all police shootings in the first half of the year.
People around the victims often find themselves in danger as well. On Monday, a Georgia man attempting help his son who was in distress was fatally shot by police.
The second victim in Chicago, Bettie Jones, was a mother of five who lived in the same apartment building as Legrier and his father. Witnesses say she was shot in the neck shortly after opening the door for police. Jones’ daughter said she found her mother on the ground after being awoken by three gunshots.
“She wasn’t saying anything,” Jones’s daughter told NBC 5 in Chicago.
Chicago police are already under mountains of pressure stemming from the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald by officer Jason Van Dyke. The shooting, and subsequent burial of video evidence that disputed the official police story, has sparked weeks of protests throughout the city. Protesters blocked the entrances to many stores on Thursday while demanding accountability from city leaders.
The city’s police superintendent was fired in early December over his handling of the shooting, but activists have also demanded that Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) also resign. Emails have suggested that the mayor’s office was aware of the video evidence during his re-election campaign earlier in the year. A state representative has also introduced a bill to recall Emanuel. The Department of Justice recently announced a formal investigation of the department.