Mother Killed Possibly With Own Gun
Woman Was Chasing Robbery Suspects When Shot

Joanie Lum

(CBS) CHICAGO Chicago police are trying to figure out who shot and killed a mother of three.

CBS 2's Kristyn Hartman reports there is possibly a cruel twist to her murder. Police are looking into the possibility that a weapon taken from the victim's home was the same gun that fatally wounded her.

"I noticed my sister holding her chest telling me, 'I'm shot,'" Dushanti Hassel said.

The bullet killed Latasha Hassel-Brunt. Her brother says before the violence, he, Latasha and her husband were trying to get to the bottom of a troubling situation.

"Tasha and her husband's home was burglarized. Friday first, then again Monday. They had got some information on who did it and found out it was her husband's little cousins who were possibly the ones who broke in," Hassel said.

They confronted the three they believed responsible near Kedzie and Walnut, and called police.

When officers got there, witnesses say two of the men took off running.

Tasha and her friend, Tiesha, were apparently in on the chase, which was quickly punctuated by the discharge of the gun.

"The only person I saw behind her was an officer. He was squatting with his gun drawn," Hassel said.

Hassel didn't actually see the shooting because he was trying to hold down one of the subjects. Some people who watched events unfold thought an officer pulled the trigger.

"But Tiesha, she was one of the runners with Tasha, said she saw the boy turn around and shoot his gun backwards. And that shot killed Tasha," said the victim's mother, Diane Hassel.

Now she is trying to come to terms with the fact her daughter, who had three kids of her own, is gone.

"The offender fired shots in an attempt to fire shots at police, and tragically, fatally wounded the victim," said Chicago Police Spokeswoman Monique Bond.

Police say the officers never discharged their weapons and only held them up protectively. At the time they were carrying 9mm semi-automatics.

Shell casings recovered at the scene came from a .45-caliber, also consistent with a gun recovered at the scene and taken from the victim's home.

Police are questioning two people, one person is still at large. No charges have been filed yet.

Latasha was the mother of three small children and coached neighborhood girls in singing and dancing.

Her mother just wants the shooter to come forward.

"What he has did is a terrible thing. And sometimes you do things and there are just consequences. And he needs to come and face the consequences over what he has done," Diane said.

A trust fund has been set up for the benefit of the three surviving children of Latasha Brunt.

Donations will be accepted at any Harris Bank for checks made out to the "Child Maintenance Fund of Latasha Hassell Brunt." The trust was created by her surviving husband.

CBS 2's Kristyn Hartman also contributed to this report.

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