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Chicago officer to countersue estate of man he shot

Bettie Jones, 55, left, and 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, right, were killed by a Chicago police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call, Dec. 26, 2015.

CBS Chicago

CHICAGO -The Chicago Police officer accused of killing 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier is suing the teen's estate, CBS Chicago reports.

Officer Robert Rialmo responded to a domestic disturbance call in December and accidentally shot and killed 55-year-old Bettie Jones, who lived downstairs from Quintonio LeGrier, the 19-year-old subject of the initial call to police, who also was killed.

Both parties have filed civil wrongful death suits over the incident. But now Joel Brodsky, an attorney representing Officer Rialmo, says he plans to file a counterclaim against the estate of Quintonio LeGrier because, he said, LeGrier attacked the officer, assaulting him and causing emotional distress, CBS Chicago reported.

The LeGrier family attorney Bill Foutris called the move a baseless and desperate attempt to deflect attention from the fact that Rialmo shot LeGrier four times in the back without justification.

On the night of the incident, family members reportedly called police to their home because the teen was threatening his father with a baseball bat. LeGrier himself also called 911 three times.

Detectives described LeGrier as being "combative" before he was shot.

Officers who responded to the call "were confronted by a combative subject resulting in the discharging of the officer's weapon," the Chicago Police Department said in a brief statement after the incident.

Legrier's mother, Janet Cooksey, who was not present at the time of the shooting, has said that her son was a college honors student studying engineering who recently had been dealing with some mental health issues, and that police did not have to react the way they did.

After 10 minutes, a transmission came over the police radio: "Shots fired out here, shots fired, shots fired! We've got two down, two down!"

The attorney for the family of Bettie Jones, Larry Rogers, Jr., says he is now requesting the names and titles of the dispatchers who took LeGrier's calls.

"For them to hang up on him, we want to know what that call-taker was thinking," Rogers said. "How could she possibly think that was the proper way to handle someone who was in need of police assistance?"

So far, Rogers said he has received 43 dash cam videos, mostly showing the scene's aftermath. He's also seeking other video footage from the area, text messages between Officer Robert Rialmo and his partner from the night in question and the release of the Independent Police Review Authority's file on the case within 45 days.

"We've tried to reiterate at every hearing, that we will resist and object to the entry of any protective order, over what we think is the public's information," Rogers said.