Maywood Man Charged With Murder | Off-Duty Cop Cleared of Wrongdoing in 2012 Shooting

smith.jpegThursday, July 28, 2016 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews || @village_free  || UPDATE: 2:05 p.m.

A man who was questioned in relation to multiple murders in Maywood and who was reportedly shot in the village last May has been charged with “first-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon,” the Chicago Tribune reports

Andrew Smith, 33, was arrested and denied bail on July 22, after he was caught “with the same multicolored Nike shoes captured in video surveillance before, during and after” a fatal July 19 shooting, according to prosecutors.

Police said Smith was wearing all black clothes and a mask at around 6:30 p.m. on July 19 when he confronted a 38-year-old man in Chicago and chased him around parked cars with a 9mm handgun before firing “several shots, prosecutors say.”

The victim, who suffered wounds to the chest and hip, was rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Tribune report noted that Smith’s attorney said he works as a custodian at Washington Dual Language Academy in Maywood and that he is from Lyons. District 89 officials, however, denied that Smith ever worked at the school or was ever an employee in the district.

This publication has previously reported that Smith was the victim of a shooting last May that police said occurred near 16th Avenue and Oak St.

According to Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley, Smith lived in Maywood before moving to Lyons and was a suspect in multiple murders in the village, but no charges were brought against him in connection to them.

To read more of the Tribune report, click here.

Off-duty Chicago cop who killed Maywood man in 2012 cleared of wrongdoing

An off-duty Chicago Police Officer who fatally shot a Maywood man during an altercation in 2012 was cleared of any wrongdoing by the city’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) last week, according to a July 21 Chicago Tribune report.

On Aug. 11, 2012, the off-duty officer was riding his motorcycle when he accidentally hit a 4-year-old girl and her 18-year-old cousin on the 1100 block of South 1st Avenue.

The girl’s father, Maywood resident Christopher Middleton, 26, came out of a nearby restaurant he was in and angrily approached the officer, according to accounts given to the Tribune by spokesmen for the police and the village at the time of the incident.

The Tribune reported that, according to the spokesmen, the off-duty officer identified himself as a cop and Middleton said he “‘didn’t give a (expletive)’ and punched the officer in the face, authorities said. Another person hit the officer in the back of the head.”

Here’s more of the Tribune’s 2012 reporting on the incident:

“The girl’s 18-year-old cousin, who ran into the street after the girl and was holding her hand when she was hit, also kicked the officer while he was on the ground, Shapiro said.

“The officer removed his weapon and fired once, hitting Middleton in the groin, Shapiro said. Camden said the officer felt he was near losing consciousness and fired at Middleton in defense of his life.

“Tanya Jones, who identified herself as Middleton’s fiancee and the mother of the 4-year-old girl, said she and Middleton had been visiting his family in Maywood when he decided to dine at a restaurant nearby.

“She said she came outside after the fight had begun and saw both men trying to get up off the ground when the officer shot Middleton.

‘“Chris asked him, ‘Why did you shoot me, why did you shoot me,’ Jones said.”

The ruling by IPRA, which is the agency responsible for looking into allegations of police misconduct whose members are appointed by Chicago’s mayor, ruled that the off-duty officer “reasonably thought his life was in danger,” according to the recent Tribune report.

The agency, however, also noted that the officer “might have avoided killing [Middleton] if he had first warned he was going to shoot.” VFP

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U P C O M I N G  E V E N T S

Sen. Kimberly Lightford’s Annual Back-to-School Fair, July 31

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Maywood police to celebrate National Night Out Aug. 2

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Maywood Police officers clean up after a 2014 National Night Out event in Maywood. | File

The Maywood Police Department will be in Fred Hampton Park, 300 Fred Hampton Way (Oak Street), on Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., to celebrate National Night Out.

The event takes place nationwide each year and is designed “to raise Crime Prevention Awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirits and unity, and Community-Policing Partnerships,” according to a flyer circulated by the department promoting the event.

This year’s entertainment will include a youth tumbling team, an outdoor screening of the movie “Zootopia,” and free food, t-shirts, gifts and balloons.

Free Outdoors Music Concert, Aug. 3

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Youth Takeover Maywood, Aug. 6

Monthly Breakfast

Rebirth of Jazz in Maywood, Aug. 6

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Maywood Old Timers Picnic, Aug. 20 

Old Timers

It’s time again for the Maywood Old Timers Picnic, one of Maywood’s most anticipated community-wide events that was started as a way to reconnect the village’s present with its past.

“I was running into people at funerals and visitations I hadn’t seen in years and we would sit and talk,” said Marilynn Jefferson, a longtime Maywoodian, now retired and living in Georgia, who helped establish the first Old Timers Picnic.

“I finally said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice where we had time we could all be together and it would not be a sad occasion?’” Jefferson reminisced during an interview at last year’s event.

Since its founding, the event has become a source of history for those interested in mining the village’s rich past.

This year, the picnic will be held on Aug. 20 at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park, 5th Ave. and Fred Hampton Way (or Oak St.).

Bring your family and friends. There will be food, fun and entertainment. For more information, call (708) 740-0747. Please leave a voicemail if you don’t get through.

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