Cops who shot Waukegan man to death followed protocol, officials say

The Lake County state's attorney office has determined that the police officers involved in the shooting of 27-year-old Christopher M. Anderson followed protocol, authorities said Tuesday.

Anderson, of Waukegan, was shot and killed by Highland Park police Nov. 3 inside NorthShore Highland Park Hospital after officials say he did not put down a handgun.

"My office has been debriefed on the facts and circumstances of the shooting and reviewed the specific actions of the officers involved," Lake County State's Attorney Michael G. Nerheim said in a city of Highland Park news release dated Tuesday. "We have determined that this was a justified shooting and that the officers' actions were reasonable and appropriate."

Officers fired nine rounds in about 1.7 seconds, hitting Anderson more than once, officials said.

The Lake County Major Crimes Task Force conducted an investigation into the shooting.

Just hours before the shooting, Anderson had been involved in an accident on I-94 near Lake-Cook Road around 11 p.m. Sunday. He was a front-seat passenger in the crash, and his daughter Alaysia, who was sitting in the back seat, was hurt.

Illinois State Police charged George Moore, 30, of Chicago with DUI in connection with the crash and Anderson went with his injured daughter to NorthShore Highland Park Hospital.

Authorities said in the news release that the Highland Park Police Department was called to the hospital about 1:30 a.m. Nov. 3 to help with an aggressive patient, who was Anderson.

"Until this time, the Highland Park Police Department had no involvement in any matter concerning Mr. Anderson (including specifically the traffic stop, the transport to the hospital, and the admission to the hospital)," officials said in the news release.

Hospital workers asked Anderson to change into a hospital gown, but the Waukegan man did not and "grew increasingly agitated," the city said.

Police and hospital staffers tried to calm Anderson down in the hospital for several minutes and Anderson took out a handgun from his waistband, according to the news release.

Police officers then told him more than once to drop the gun. Emergency room cameras revealed hospital employees "fleeing" the room, and witnesses said they heard for more than 45 seconds the officers' commands to drop the gun, according to the news release.

Officers shot at Anderson multiple times, and although emergency room personnel gave him CPR and intubation, he died.

Investigators learned the gun Anderson possessed had been reported stolen in Waukegan, the city said. Anderson's criminal background included serving time for aggravated battery and escape from a penal institution. He was released early on good behavior in 2013 but went back to prison this year after he was convicted of cocaine possession. He was then released on parole in May.

"Our officers responded swiftly and professionally to the hospital call on November 3," Police Chief Paul Shafer said in the news release. "Their actions were justified and necessary to protect the safety of the hospital staff and the public."

"This is a significantly traumatic incident for all that are involved including the Anderson family, the hospital staff and the responding officers," Shafer said. "The loss of any life is a tragic and unfortunate circumstance."

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