The Ruger 9mm handgun that fell from Adam’s hand matches the seven shell casings that were later recovered at the site where Ruben Roman fired the initial shots, prosecutors said.
Days before its public release, Cook County prosecutors on Saturday gave a preview of the video that shows the fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, describing the recorded encounter during a bail hearing for the man who allegedly fired the gunshots that drew officers to the Little Village scene last month.
That gun was in the boy’s hand when a police officer shot him in the chest, according to Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy.
Ruben Roman, 21, now faces felony charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, as well as child endangerment and violating probation.
“If the defendant does not bring [Adam] with him at 2:30 in the morning, if he doesn’t bring his gun with him while on gun offender probation, if he doesn’t shoot that gun seven or eight times on a city street with [Adam] standing right next to him… and then fleeing with that gun, none of this would have happened,” Murphy said.
Prosecutors said nearby surveillance video captured the moment Roman fired shots at a passing vehicle while Adam stood next to him on the corner of 24th Street and Sawyer Avenue early on the morning of March 29.
After firing the shots, Roman and Adam ran north on Sawyer and ducked into an alley near 23rd Street, where officers spotted them about a minute later, Murphy said.
One officer tackled Roman and knocked loose a pair of red gloves that were later found to have gunshot residue on them, Murphy said.
The other officer continued to chase Adam, who eventually stopped with his left side facing the officer near a break in a wooden fence in the alley, Murphy said, citing the officer’s bodycam footage. The officer repeatedly told Adam to “drop it,” according to Murphy.
When Adam — who allegedly had a gun in his right hand — turned toward the officer, the officer shot him in the chest, Murphy said.
The officer called for an ambulance and began performing chest compressions on Adam, but Adam was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.
Prosecutors suggested the Ruger 9mm handgun that fell from Adam’s hand had previously been used by Roman. It matched the seven shell casings that were later recovered at the site where Roman fired the initial shots, Murphy said. Adam’s hand later tested positive for gunshot residue as well, prosecutors said.
After the shooting, Roman was initially charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. An arrest warrant was issued last week after Roman skipped a court date, and he was found Friday in Maywood hiding in a closet, Murphy said.
Murphy also said that when detectives questioned Roman about Adam’s identity, Roman gave them a fake name. He denied knowing Adam or firing any shots, and claimed that he was in the alley “waiting for a train,” according to Murphy.
Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said that Roman left high school in the 11th grade but recently enrolled in a GED program, and was waiting on several job opportunities after being unemployed for the last two months.
Smallwood refused to accept Murphy’s claims that Roman was endangering Adam, saying that there was no proof that the gun belonged to Roman, that he was wearing the red gloves that tested positive for gunshot residue or that he even brought Adam outside with him in the first place.
“The victim is dead at the hands of the Chicago police officers, not my client,” Smallwood said.
Judge Susana Ortiz ordered Roman jailed on $150,000 bail. He is due back in court April 19.
Adam’s funeral was held Friday.
Chicago police leaders have canceled days off for officers next week as they prepare for possible demonstrations upon the release of the shooting video. The Toledo family is expected to view it early next week before it’s released publicly, officials have said.
“Transparency always matters, particularly in something as significant as a police-involved shooting,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at an unrelated Saturday morning news conference. “I think it will only help disabuse a lot of urban myths that have sprung up in the void, but I want to be clear: from what’s been described to me, it is going to be a very tough video for people to watch.”