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Police Say Shooting of Marcellis Stinnette was Self-Defense, Witnesses Say Otherwise

Waukegan, Illinois – A pair of families are demanding answers after a 19-year-old was killed and a woman was seriously hurt after they were shot by a police officer late Tuesday night.

According to police Commander Edgar Navarro, the shooting occurred around midnight when an officer approached a vehicle occupied by Tafara Williams and Marcellis Stinnette.

Navaro says, the officer fired into the vehicle in self-defense when it started backing up towards him. Both Williams and Stinnette were shot.

Police say that Williams, who was driving the car, suffered serious injuries but is expected to recover. Stinnette, who was the passenger in the vehicle, was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The officer involved in the shooting has not yet been identified, however, authorities say he is a Hispanic male who has been on the force for 5-years.

The families of the shooting victims demanded justice at a press conference Wednesday.

“We’re looking for peace and justice. That’s all we want,” Francellise Stinnette-Watts, Marcellis’ great-aunt, said. “We want to know what happened. We would like to see the video camera.”

“They were not thugs. They were not problematic kids,” family spokesman Ricky Carly said. “They didn’t have any issues with anybody out here.”

Black Lives Matter Lake County Chapter representatives plan a peaceful protest Thursday starting from the location where Stinnette and Williams were shot.

“Killing one of our citizens is not acceptable,” Clyde McLemore founder of Lake County Black Lives Matter said. According to McLemore, Williams was Stinnette’s girlfriend and the couple are parents to a young child.

According to McLemore, Williams and a witness contend the officer rammed the vehicle she was driving and began shooting.

Waukegan police officers wear body cameras and all the squad cars are equipped with cameras, however, it is not clear what footage of the incident exists as of yet.

According to a press release issued Wednesday, an investigation is being conducted by Illinois State Police. Once complete, the matter will be turned over to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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