Family members and friends displayed raw anger and frustration over the news that 17-year-old Geoffrey Lewis had been shot and killed in front of his home by a Waukegan police officer. "How can you shoot an innocent kid?" one distraught relative shouted toward police officers who surrounded McAlister Avenue and Helmholz Street Wednesday afternoon.
Waukegan Alderman Sam Cunningham, right, comforts Geoffrey Lewis’ grandmother Lizzie Scott of Waukegan, center, after Geoffrey was allegedly shot and killed by police Wednesday. (Michael Schmidt/News-Sun)
17-year-old shot to death by Waukegan cop
Teen allegedly attacked officer with hammer
Family members and friends displayed raw anger and frustration over the news that 17-year-old Geoffrey Lewis had been shot and killed in front of his home by a Waukegan police officer.
"How can you shoot an innocent kid?" one distraught relative shouted toward police officers who surrounded McAlister Avenue and Helmholz Street Wednesday afternoon.
"Geoffrey was in high school. He has not been able to experience life yet."
Another family member, who arrived to the shaken neighborhood shortly after the shooting, called police cowards and demanded disciplinary action against the officer who shot Lewis.
"You did not have to shoot him," the man said. "This is happening too much, and too often."
About 2:15 p.m., Waukegan police responded to a call from Lewis' mother, Margaret Rollins, of fighting at her Helmholz Avenue home, said Waukegan Cmdr. Wayne Walles.
Lewis, who was a student at Waukegan High School, was involved in an argument with his brother, police said.
When police arrived at the scene to break up the fight, Lewis allegedly hit one of the officers over the head with a hammer, Walles said.
Another officer then drew his gun, shot and fatally wounded Lewis.
Lewis, who was a member of the Waukegan football team, died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds, said Lake County Coroner Dr. Richard Keller.
The officer who was struck by the hammer was taken to Lake Forest Hospital for a possible fractured skull. His condition is unknown.
"Right now we just want answers about what happened," said Lewis' aunt, Jackie Jackson, who tried to console saddened family members and friends who were crowded in the street. "We are all just in shock right now. He was a good kid. We can't believed this happened."
Cassius Crittendon, 19, a cousin of Lewis, was in disbelief over the news.
"It is hard to believe that he is gone," Crittendon said. "He was a really good person. That was just how my cousin was."
At the scene, Waukegan police officers secured the area while the Lake County Major Crime Task Force conducted an investigation at the home where the shooting took place. As is routine, an autopsy is scheduled on Lewis' body today to determine cause of death.