Who was Adam Toledo? Chicago boy, 13, fatally shot in the chest during ‘armed confrontation’ with police

'He wanted to be a cop when he grew up and next thing you know, a cop took his life,' the boy's mother said


                            Who was Adam Toledo? Chicago boy, 13, fatally shot in the chest during ‘armed confrontation’ with police
The boy’s mother demanded answers about the death of her son, who she said wanted to be a police officer someday (Getty Images)

LITTLE VILLAGE, CHICAGO: A Chicago police officer fatally shot dead a 13-year-old boy on Monday, March 29 in what authorities reportedly called an “armed confrontation.” After police shot and killed Adam Toledo, in what officials described as an “armed confrontation” in Little Village, everyone from Mayor Lori Lightfoot to community activists to the boy’s neighbors on Thursday, April 1 demanded the release of videos that could shed light on what exactly happened. The teenager died in the incident, which took place in an alley west of the 2300 block of South Sawyer Avenue.

The officer accountable for the killing was placed on desk duty for 30 days while the Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigates the shooting, police said. The incident was captured by the body-worn camera, but it wasn’t immediately clear if investigators would release it. According to a statement released on Thursday, April 1 afternoon, COPA said while it is required to release body camera video of police shootings within 60 days of the incident, the policy prohibits them from sharing video if the victim is under 18 years old. Without a court order, the video would not be released, the statement said.

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The boy’s mother said that she wants answers about the death of her son, who she said wanted to be a police officer someday. “He wanted to be a cop when he grew up,” Elizabeth Toledo told the Sun-Times of her son, Adam. “And next thing you know, a cop took his life.” The Cook County medical examiner said that bullet was found in Adam's chest. She also revealed that the family moved to Little Village in November. Adam attended Gary Elementary School on 31st Street. “He was always happy. He loved animals. He was loving to all his siblings,” she said. 

In a statement, police said that officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert at 2:35 a.m. on March 29 and saw two males. One person, who was allegedly armed, ran from the scene and was shot by an officer during the “armed confrontation,” police said. Police shared a photo of a gun allegedly recovered at the scene. That person, was later identified as Adam, died at the scene, police said. Adam’s mother identified him at the county morgue on Wednesday, March 31, after filing a missing person complaint in the police station. The other person who ran from police, 21-year-old Ruben Roman Jr. of Edgewater, was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, police said. Roman had previous police records as well, in 2019, he pleaded guilty for illegal gun possession stemming from an arrest in Evanston and was sentenced to probation, court records show.

Adam's mother also said that she doesn’t know what happened to her son, who she last saw on Sunday, March 28, when they went to a memorial service for a relative who died. She said she “just wants answers about what really happened.” “I haven’t heard from cops since yesterday when they knocked on my door,” said Toledo, 44. Authorities have said the family lives in the 2700 block of South Millard Avenue, which is less than a mile from the scene of the shooting.