Man shot, killed by Calumet City police

2013-04-23T13:30:00Z 2013-04-23T23:36:05Z Man shot, killed by Calumet City policeLauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

CALUMET CITY |  A 22-year-old Calumet City man suspected of shooting a Hammond man was shot to death by police early Monday night after allegedly pulling a gun on officers.

Victor Johnson, of the 400 block of Garfield Avenue, was pronounced dead at 5:30 p.m. at Franciscan St. Margaret Health hospital in Hammond, according to the Lake County coroner's office.

The cause of death was listed as multiple gunshot wounds suffered in a homicide in the 400 block of Freeland Avenue.

Assistant Calumet City Police Chief Dante Zorzi confirmed Tuesday morning that the homicide was a police-involved shooting.

According to a statement issued by Calumet City police Tuesday afternoon, officers responded at 3:37 p.m. to Freeland Avenue and 154th Place for a report of a gunshot victim.

When officers arrived, they found a 21-year-old Hammond man with two gunshot wounds. He was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with nonlife-threatening injuries.

During the course of the investigation, officers learned the shooting occurred at Freeland Avenue and Pulaski Road. Police said several witnesses were interviewed and provided a description of the suspects.

At 5:06 p.m., officers in the 500 block of Harrison Street saw Johnson, who matched the description of the suspect. As officers approached, police said, they saw what appeared to be a handgun in Johnson's pocket.

Johnson fled on foot as officers approached. Police chased Johnson into the alley.

Johnson entered a yard in the 400 block of Freeland Avenue, "and pulled the handgun from his pocket as to fire on the officers."

Police said "officers in fear of their lives" fired and struck Johnson. He was transported to Franciscan St. Margaret Health hospital in Hammond, where he later died.

Zorzi said police had run-ins with Johnson prior to Monday's shooting. 

The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force is investigating the shooting, Zorzi said.

Monday's police shooting comes just more than a year after Calumet City police shot and killed a teen with autism there.

On Feb. 1, 2012, Calumet City police shot and killed Stephon Watts, 15, after he cut an officer with a knife in the basement of his home. Police were initially called to the home by the boy's father.

An investigation by Illinois State Police and the Cook County state's attorney's office concluded police were justified in the shooting.

In January 2010, Calumet City police shot and killed Prince Alim Bantu Akbar, 32, after they said Akbar beat and severely injured two officers adjacent to Thornton Fractional Center for Science and Technology in the 15700 block of Wentworth Avenue.

Prior to that shooting, Akbar entered the school yelling and then ran into the street flailing his arms. Police said Akbar punched a female officer in the face as she got out of her squad and punched a male officer when he arrived.

Police said Akbar did not submit after being hit twice with a stun gun. The officers suffered broken bones, cuts and bruises.

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