What various media outlets are reporting as a road rage incident ended tragically as an off-duty Chicago police officer fatally shot Joshua Beal, 25, in the city’s Mt. Greenwood neighborhood.
DNA Info reports that Beal was sitting in a car that was blocking the driveway of a Chicago Fire Department on Saturday afternoon. When a firefighter asked him to move, Beal reportedly left his vehicle and a fight began. Moments later, a CPD sergeant was on his way to work and noticed the scene. “The Sergeant stopped, exited his vehicle, displayed his weapon and announced his office,” said a police statement. “As the incident continued to escalate and the offender failed to drop his weapon, shots were fired striking the individual multiple times.”
However, Beal’s family have a very different recollection of the events that took place on Saturday afternoon, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Beal’s sister, Cordney Boxley, 23, was driving back from a funeral behind another car that her 17-year-old sister was driving. She claims that a driver cut her off and then tried to run her sister off of the road, which is when everyone stopped and got out of their vehicles.
Boxley claims that the driver pushed her cousin to the ground, pointing a gun at her and then got inside of his car before getting out again and opening fire.
When news of the incident spread, members of the community – some of which were activists – arrived on the scene to be updated and offer Beal’s family support. They were met with an openly aggressive reaction from residents.
“There was no protest,” said Kofi Ademola. “We were there to check on the family to make sure they were safe. Next thing we knew, we were surrounded by a bunch of angry white people. Nobody said anything to them.”
The group was reportedly on the receiving end of shouts that ranged from “Blue Lives Matter!” to “Go home, ni**er!”
Police say that Beal was armed at the time of his shooting while his family claims that he never fired the weapon he was licensed to carry. The father of two was in town from Indianapolis to be a pall bearer for a funeral.
A bystander reportedly captured the incident on cell phone video, which is currently being investigated by the Independent Police Review Authority.
Photo courtesy Beal Family