At Bond Hearing For Man Authorities Say Was With Him, Prosecutors Say 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo Had Gun In Hand When He Was Fatally Shot By Police
CHICAGO (CBS) -- At a bond hearing Saturday for the man who was with 13-year-old Adam Toledo when he was shot and killed by police, prosecutors said Adam had a gun in his hand when an officer shot and killed him.
Prosecutors said while defendant Ruben Roman was the one to fire the gun, Adam was holding it when he was shot and killed by police at a point when Roman was already being detained.
Roman, 21, was arrested shortly before noon Friday in the 1600 block of South 18th Avenue in Maywood, Illinois, in relation to a probation violation warrant. He is charged with felony reckless discharge of a firearm, felony unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and felony endangerment of a child.
In a proffer, the Cook County State's Attorney's office said Roman was walking south on Sawyer Avenue toward 24th Street in Little Village at 2:36 a.m. Monday, March 29. Roman was wearing a gold Carhartt jacket and a gold shirt and dark pants, while Adam was wearing a navy blue hoodie, dark pants, and a white hat – and they could easily be told apart, prosecutors said.
Video from Farragut Career Academy High School showed Roman and Adam walking together, while a vehicle was seen heading down the street away from where they were. The video appears to show Ruben walk up to the corner and take a shooting stance, while Adam first starts to move back in the direction from which they came and then moves back toward Roman as Roman fires shots, prosecutors said.
Adam was next to Roman for a portion of time that Roman was firing shots, after which point Roman ran back the way they came – followed close behind by Adam, prosecutors said. A ShotSpotter alert recorded eight shots being fired, and a total of seven shell casings were found at the scene where Roman was shooting, prosecutors said.
After the shots were fired, Roman and Adam began running north on Sawyer Avenue and cut into a gangway at 2324 S. Sawyer Ave., prosecutors said. Two uniformed Chicago Police officers pulled up less than a minute after the shots were fired as Ruben and Adam fled in the alley, prosecutors said.
Both officers got out of their squad car and chased the pair down the alley, prosecutors said. Roman was taken to the ground first and one of the officers detained him as he dropped a pair of red gloves on the ground, prosecutors said. This was captured by the officer's body camera, prosecutors said.
The gloves later tested positive for gunshot residue, prosecutors said.
As Roman was being detained, the other officer kept chasing Adam down the alley and told him to stop, but he kept running, prosecutors said. Adam then stopped near a break in a wooden fence, and the officer ordered Adam to show his hands, prosecutors said.
At that point, Adam was standing with his left side toward the officer, and had his right hand at his right side, prosecutors said. Adam turned toward the officer, and it turned out he had a gun in his right hand, prosecutors said. The officer ordered him to drop the gun, prosecutors said.
When he did not, the officer shot Adam once in the chest, prosecutors said. The officer gave Adam CPR afterward, but Adam did not survive.
The gun that Adam was holding landed a few feet away against the fence, prosecutors said.
Adam was pronounced dead at the scene. His right hand also tested positive for gunshot residue, and the Ruger 9mm was recovered against the fence, prosecutors said.
The fired shell casings from the scene matched up to the Ruger 9mm, prosecutors said.
Meanwhile, Roman was placed into custody and questioned about the incident and prosecutors said he gave a fake name for Adam – something that police Supt. David Brown previously blamed for holding up the investigation. Roman also claimed he did shoot and did not know anything about what happened because he was just in the alley waiting for a train, prosecutors said.
He never explained about what train would have stopped in the alley, which does not have any train tracks in it, prosecutors said.
Roman was interviewed again a short time later and this time denied knowing whom he was with at the time of the incident. He was initially charged with misdemeanor resisting and given a $1,500 I-bond.
The investigation continued, and police ran the prints of the name Roman initially gave for Adam – figuring out it was fake, prosecutors said.
Roman has a prior felony record for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and is on probation out of Skokie. He failed to appear in court in Skokie this past Wednesday, prompting a no-bail arrest warrant that led to his arrest at his mother's house on Friday, prosecutors said.
He was hiding in a closet and had shaved his head when police came to arrest him, prosecutors said.
Bond for Roman was set Saturday at $150,000 with electronic monitoring.
Adam's family is scheduled to view the police body camera video and other materials related to the March 29 shooting next week, the family's attorneys said Friday.
It is unclear yet when body camera footage of the shooting will be made public, as CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported, Adam's family will get the chance to watch the video.
Police never mentioned the person they shot was 13 years old. Instead, that information was released three days later by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants to know who gave the teenager a gun.
The funeral for Adam was held on Friday. Protests have erupted from the public demanding transparency.
Late Saturday, attorneys Weiss Ortiz and Joel Hirschhorn, representing the Toledo family, released the following statement about the revelations at the bond hearing for Roman:
"Counsels for the Toledo family were present during the bond hearing and are aware of the prosecutor's proffer regarding Defendant Ruben Roman. Until we see all of the videos and examine the evidence for ourselves, we are not in a position to comment. We have an appointment this coming week with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability to view the police body camera video and other materials pertaining to the March 29 police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo."
for more features.