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.
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.