Distressing video has emerged from last year’s shooting of a 15-year-old music student at the hands of a suburban Chicago police officer who had pursued a bank robbery suspect into a rehearsal room.
Rylan Wilder was working at the Chicago music school Upbeat Music and Arts on November 19, 2019, when he was shot in the elbow and abdomen by a Des Plaines, Illinois, police officer.
Video from inside the business released to WGN by the attorney representing Wilder’s family shows the unnamed uniformed officer storming into the music school in hot pursuit of an armed man suspected to robbing a bank in Des Plaines and carjacking a getaway car that day.
New video released this weeks shows the moment a Des Plaines, Illinois, officer pursuing a bank robbery suspect stormed into a Chicago music school and opened fire last November
The officer encountered 15-year-old school employee Rylan Wilder, pictured in a brown coat and apparently shot him
A wounded Wilder got out of the officer’s way as he continued firing on the suspect
A lawyer for the Wilder family said the cop was armed with his personal military-style assault rifle (pictured)
The officer is seen brandishing what has been described by lawyer Timothy Cavanaugh as his personal assault-style rifle.
As the robber runs toward the back of the rehearsal room lined with pianos, he crosses paths with Wilder, who tries to seek refuge in a side room.
The officer unleashes a barrage of bullets at the fleeing suspect and apparently strikes Wilder, who ducks into the adjoining room clutching his severely injured elbow as students and a teacher there take cover and shut the door.
The suspect, identified as Christopher Willis, was shot in the head and killed at the scene.
Federal prosecutors said Willis and an accomplice, Maurice Murphy, carried out an armed bank robbery in Des Plaines, stealing more than $15,000.
Another camera at the Upbeat Music and Art school captured students cowering in fear in the adjacent room
Murphy, who was acting as the getaway driver, was arrested shortly after the robbery, but Willis escaped and stole a car and led local police and FBI agents on a high-speed chase into Chicago.
The officer shot and killed Christopher Willis, suspected of robbing a Des Paines bank at gunpoint and committing a carjacking
Chicago police were waiting to take over the pursuit as Willis exited Kennedy Expressway at Irving Park Road, but for some unexplained reason, at least one of the Des Plaines cops continued the chase, following the suspect into the music school with his assault rifle drawn, according to Cavanaugh.
The attorney said Rylan, who until the shooting excelled at playing the piano and guitar, suffered injuries similar to those seen in war casualties.
‘The bullet that went through his arm blew away muscle and arteries and veins,’ Cavanaugh told ABC 7 Chicago.
Over the past nine months, the teen has undergone 14 surgeries to repair extensive damage to his arm and abdomen. Despite doing physical therapy four hours a day, he still cannot play instruments as he did before the shooting.
Wilder and his parents, Lucia Morales and Tom Wilder, said no one from the Des Plaines Police Department has reached out to them to apologize for what happened.
Wilder suffered gunshot wounds to the elbow and abdomen, which his attorney likened to injuries seen in war casualties
The boy’s parents, Tim Wilder and Lucia Morales, in November 2019 filed a civil lawsuit against Willis’ surviving accomplice and the Des Plaines Police Department
Just days after the deadly officer-involved shooting, the Wilder family filed a lawsuit, naming the surviving bank robber, the Des Plaines Police Department and the officer who opened fire as defendants.
Morales and Wilder said at the time they hope the lawsuit will help answer some questions concerning the Des Plaines’ officer presence in Chicago and his choice of a weapon.
‘Why is he using his own weapon in the pursuit and why is it a military weapon, AR-15, that caused damage commensurate with a war victim?’ Cavanaugh inquired in an interview with NBC Chicago. ‘Why is the Des Plaines Police Department involved in a police pursuit in the city of Chicago?’
The lawyer claimed that the Des Plaines Police Department has a policy that prohibits its officers from crossing into another jurisdiction if there are two or more officers from that jurisdiction.
Wilder, who until last November excelled at playing the piano and guitar, has undergone 14 surgeries. His daily routine includes four hours of physical therapy
‘We know that there were about 20 squads outside of Upbeat that night, so unless they got approval from a supervisor, Des Plaines was not supposed to be there,’ he argued.
The Des Plaines police chief defended his officer’s actions, saying that an independent investigation has found that the cop was in compliance with all department policies and acted reasonably.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office has not commented on the case, citing an ongoing review.