Home News Family of man fatally shot by Elk Grove Village police files lawsuit

Family of man fatally shot by Elk Grove Village police files lawsuit


The family of a man who was shot and killed by Elk Grove Village police has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the village and five unnamed police officers, saying “negligent decisions that both violated the policies and norms of reasonable policing and common sense” led to his death. 

Jack Murray, 24, was fatally shot by an Elk Grove Village police officer on Dec. 1 about 4:30 p.m. near his family home in the 200 block of Fern Drive. Several officers confronted Murray, whose family says was experiencing distress likely due to Type 1 diabetes, after a neighbor reported seeing him leaving the house with a knife. Murray had also called 911. 

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges that officers didn’t use proper de-escalation techniques or provide mental health assistance, ultimately leading to Murray’s death. 

“A call to the police for help should never, ever be a death sentence,” the family’s attorney, Antonio Romanucci, said at a Thursday news conference. “A call for help from someone suffering from a mental or physical crisis should never, ever be a death sentence.” 

Romanucci said Murray was “clearly in a diminished or impaired mental state,” slurring his words and stumbling, and didn’t pose a danger. He said Elk Grove Village police had helped Murray with “episodes of emotional distress” at least three times in the past. 

Donna Murray, Jack’s mother, said her son had been struggling with diabetes along with mental health issues since he was 14 years old. She said it can create a “very big storm” if both aren’t managed properly. 

“I don’t care how big this storm got,” she said. “I am telling you here today — they (Elk Grove Village police) all knew Jack and our family by first name. Every single one of them.”

Donna, who cried while she spoke Thursday, said her family remains in “grief and disbelief,” calling the shooting a “catastrophic disaster.” She said her son was intelligent, caring and always curious about learning new things. He was a student at Wright College, who wanted to help people in the medical field, she said. His “heart and soul was larger than life,” she said. 

“Elk Grove police decided to make an extraordinarily hasty and deadly decision, and took the life of my son,” she said. “The way they did it should scare every one of you.”

“What went wrong? Who decided to fire and fire so many shots,” she questioned. “This should have never happened. They took our son, our buddy, our friend, a large part of our life.” 

The family members of Jack Murray attend a press conference at the Romanucci & Blandin LLC office on May 30, 2024, about the filing of a civil lawsuit for the shooting death of Jack Murray by Elk Grove Village. (Eileen T. Meslar/Chicago Tribune)
Members of the Murray family attend a news conference at the Romanucci & Blandin LLC office on May 30, 2024, about the filing of a lawsuit in the shooting death of Jack Murray by Elk Grove Village police. (Eileen T. Meslar/Chicago Tribune)

Dozens of Murray’s friends attended the news conference, wearing white T-shirts that said “Justice for Jack.” 

Mayor Craig Johnson acknowledged the lawsuit in a Thursday statement and said the village will review it in order to “determine how best to move forward.” He said the village expresses its “sincere condolences” to the Murray family. 

The officers who responded to this incident all have received (a) combination of crisis intervention training, mental health training and de-escalation training, all of which were utilized in response to the incident involving Mr. Murray,” Johnson said. 

 “The Village looks forward to defending the actions of its officers during the very unfortunate and tragic incident involving Mr. Murray,” Johnson continued.  

Officials released partial body camera footage and partial 911 tapes in December. Before the shooting, Murray called 911 and told the dispatcher that someone was acting erratically with a knife, then identified himself as the armed individual. He also said he planned to “hurt someone.”

The police-released footage also shows that officers knew Murray, including one who responded to the scene. Text on the footage says officers deployed a taser twice on Murray before firing several shots as he approached them. 

The officer who shot Murray has not been identified, and officers were not identified in the footage. Five responding officers were placed on temporary administrative leave after the shooting. 

Romanucci called the footage an “edited movie” that excluded things, including conversation between Murray and the officer and that of the fatal shot. He said the “transparency level has been zero from Elk Grove Village.” 

Murray’s family is seeking more than $50,000 and court costs.

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