CHICAGO (CBS) — Michael Craig was a domestic violence victim who called the police for help – but when officers arrived, they took his life instead.
It has been almost a year since Craig was shot and killed in his Auburn Gresham neighborhood home. CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey spoke exclusively to Craig’s family – who told her a wrongful death lawsuit filed Monday was their last resort.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court. Craig’s family is also still calling for criminal charges against the officer who fired the shots, and asking for a dialogue with the city.
Craig’s son, Patrick Jenkins, emphasized that his father was the one who called 911.
Craig told police on Oct. 4, 2021: “My wife’s got a knife on me on the bed. Right now. On my throat.”
The lawsuit filed Monday in the federal jurisdiction of the Northern District of Illinois claims that Chicago Police Officer Alberto Covarrubias and his partner were informed at least four different times that Craig, 61, was the victim of domestic violence.
Craig said his wife was experiencing a mental health episode and was trying to stab him.
But when Officer Covarrubias entered the apartment, attorney Michael Oppenheimer said what followed was something that “views like a horror movie.”
With a Taser and gun drawn, body camera video shows the officer shoot Craig.
Oppenheimer, who represents the family, says Covarrubias didn’t stop there.
“Then he puts the kill shot into Michael Craig for absolutely no reason,” Oppenheimer said. “This man is victim of domestic violence, and Officer Covarrubias killed a domestic violence victim.”
Jenkins, Craig’s son, is now left to pick up the pieces. He took custody of his now 8-year-old brother, who was seen here on body camera video – also telling police that his “mommy” had the knife.
Jenkins said Chicago Police did “everything” wrong in the situation.
The filing does not only allege officers misinterpreted the situation.
“Officer Covarrubias murdered Michael Craig,” Oppenheimer said. “He shot him in cold blood.”
Craig’s son said he wants additional domestic violence training for officers.
He wants charges to be filed against Officer Covarrubias.
He also wants to know why the officers on the scene didn’t try to render aid to him right after the shooting.
“To see anybody go through that – knowing that they could have been saved, or there’s something that you could have done – and nothing,” Jenkins said.
But most importantly, Jenkins wants to sit down with the city and start a dialogue about ways that this type of tragedy can be prevented.
“We haven’t heard anything from anybody from the City of Chicago,” Jenkins said. “No apology – anything.”
We reached out to the city Law Department for comment. We had not heard back as of just before 6 p.m.
The CPD tells us Officer Covarrubias is an active member of their department. He had already been suspended for a 2016 incident in which his termination had been recommended.