CHICAGO -- Chicago police Saturday took the most serious action possible against an officer believed to have shot and killed a 19-year-old in the city's West Englewood neighborhood.
In a statement regarding the shooting Wednesday of Kajuan Raye, who so far appears to have been unarmed, spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Superintendent Eddie Johnson "has relieved the involved officer of his police powers."
"Having been a police officer for 28 years, I know that this job is not easy and the decision to use force is extremely complex and must be made in seconds without the benefits of formal reviews and deliberations," Johnson said. "However, based on the little information we know at this point, I have concerns about this incident and feel this decision is in the best interest of the department and the people of Chicago as we await a methodical and impartial investigation into exactly what transpired."
Raye, of the Chicago suburb Dolton, died of a gunshot wound to the back, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. His death was ruled a homicide, the office said.
Although the unidentified officer who was involved said Raye pointed a gun at him, Johnson said at a news conference Thursday no gun was found.
Guglielmi said relieving an officer of police powers is the most serious action the department can take during an open investigation.
It wasn't immediately known how often such measures have been taken in the past. Standard procedure calls for an officer to be placed on administrative duty during such an investigation.
Police were called Wednesday night to an assault in West Englewood, Johnson said earlier.
A police sergeant spotted a man who "matched the description of the offender" in the attack, Johnson said. The sergeant identified himself as an officer and approached the man, but he began to run and the sergeant chased him.
During the pursuit the man "turned and pointed" a weapon at the sergeant two separate times, which led the sergeant to shoot him, Johnson said.
Raye was pronounced dead at a hospital.
"Unfortunately, we still don't have a complete synopsis of exactly how and what transpired," Johnson said Thursday. "There is still a lot of investigating going on."
No officers were injured during the incident.