Was police killing of 95-year-old necessary?
When John Wrana was a young man, fit and strong and fighting in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, did he ever think he’d end this way?
Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, in need of a walker to move about, cops coming through the door of his retirement home with a Taser and a shotgun.
The old man, described by a family member as “wobbly” on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.
First they tased him, but that didn’t work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.
“The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job,” Wrana’s family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday.
Wrana’s family wants answers. The Illinois State Police are investigating the horrific incident but won’t comment, and neither will the Park Forest police pending the outcome of the inquiry.
I wasn’t at the scene, and maybe the police have a good explanation. But common sense tells me that cops don’t need a Taser or a shotgun to subdue a 95-year-old man.