Police shoot dead trans man carrying pellet gun ‘made to look like a pistol’
A trans man carrying a pellet gun was fatally shot by a police officer in Villa Park, Illinois. Police named Haven A Bailey as the victim and confirmed that the shooting happened in the early hours of Monday (24 May).
Officers were responding to a call of a person with a gun in the area of 200 East Kenilworth Avenue in Villa Park, Illinois – a village within the Chicago metropolitan area.
After arriving on the scene, officers said they encountered a person walking “directly toward them while armed” with what they believed was a handgun.
Police said Bailey was told to “drop the gun several times”. An officer then “shot the person four times when they refused”.
Officials said they later recovered a “black pellet gun made to look like a Sig Sauer 1911 pistol”.
Police reportedly began life-saving measures at the scene, and Bailey was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
A preliminary investigation revealed Bailey “made the initial 911 call to report the person with a gun in the street”. The Villa Park Police added the investigation is still ongoing.
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Bailey’s family told WGN TV that he was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder and was struggling with alcohol addiction. They also confirmed he was a trans man, after he was misgendered by a police statement on Facebook.
WGN TV reported that Bailey was supported to enrol in a treatment centre for alcoholism, but he rented a room at a halfway house he found on Facebook. He was at the halfway house when he called 911 on Monday, the news station reported.
According to the family, Bailey had multiple run-ins with police in the past, and had previously told police that he was suicidal and sought “death by cop”.
An online obituary for Bailey described him as a person who “found peace in spending time fishing” and who was an “avid Pokemon trainer”. He was also a Tim Burton fan and particularly loved A Nightmare Before Christmas.
He is survived by his mother, parents, siblings, extended family and friends, according to the obituary.