Lawyer: ICE agent shot unarmed Chicago man as he opened door

The Chicago home where a lawyer says an ICE agent shot an unarmed man March 27, 2017

CBS Chicago

CHICAGO -- Federal immigration officials say an agent shot and wounded a man after he pointed a gun at agents trying to make an arrest in a Chicago home, but the wounded man’s attorney said he was unarmed and targeted for no apparent reason.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the special agent was attempting to arrest someone Monday morning when a second person, Felix Torres, 53, pointed a weapon at agents. ICE officials said the special agent fired his weapon, wounding the second person.

But attorney Thomas Hallock told reporters later Monday that he heard a different version of events when he visited the wounded 53-year-old man at a hospital. Hallock said he was told Torres heard a pounding at his door, answered it and was shot “without cause.” Hallock says the man was not armed.

“He was shot immediately, or almost immediately, upon opening his door to see what the commotion was outside of his residence,” Hallock told CBS Chicago.

ICE officials said the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility will review the shooting. Asked about the lawyer’s account of the shooting, ICE spokesman Carl Rusnok said in an email Tuesday that the investigation is ongoing and that no further details can be immediately released.

Hallock said Torres and his wife arrived from Mexico more than two decades ago and are legal residents of the United States. Hallock said told the station his children are U.S. citizens.

Seven or eight people were in the home at the time of the shooting, he said.

“I don’t know if there was some sort of mistake,” Hallock said.  

ICE has not publicly named the target of the arrest warrant and it wasn’t clear if that person was detained. Hallock said he is also representing the wounded man’s 23-year-old son, who was briefly detained.

Chicago police officials said their officers responded to the call of shots fired. They said they are investigating any underlying criminal offenses and working with prosecutors and the Department of Homeland Security.