War veteran John Wrana, 95, dies after police shoot him with Taser and bean bag rounds
A 95-year-old world War II veteran died after being Tasered and hit with bean bag rounds by police for threatening care home staff - but his family insist he was killed unnecessarily.
Police say that John Wrana, who lived in a Chicago assisting living home, was brandishing his cane, a metal shoehorn and a knife before officers shocked him and hit him with bean bag rounds.
The senior citizen had been reported to authorities because he was being 'involuntarily' committed for medical treatment by staff at the Victory Centre, the Chicago Tribune reported.
John Wrana (pictured with his wife, Helen) died after being Tasered and shot with bean bag rounds
He was behaving in 'combative' manner, by threatening staff with his cane and a shoehorn.Wrana was reportedly scheduled to undergo a risky surgery, and was apparently afraid to end up on life support.
When police arrived at Park Forest at around 8.45pm, they said he was ordered to surrender, but he refused to and continued to berate staff and threaten them.
Officers claim he then picked up a 6-inch knife, but his family's attorney alleges that care home staff did not see him do this, The Blaze reported.
He was then shocked by a Taser, hit with rounds of bean bag ammunition, and was taken into custody and then to hospital.
Staff claimed that he was sitting in a chair during the row, suggesting that the force used by authorities might not have been warranted, according to The Blaze.
The Chicago Tribune reported that Mr Wrana was conscious when he was taken to St. James Hospital and Health Centers in Chicago Heights.
But he was then moved to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died at about 2.30am.
The Southtown Star reported that an autopsy found the war veteran died from being shot in the stomach with the 12-gauge shotgun with bean-bag ammo.
The senior citizen had been reported to authorities because he was being 'involuntarily' committed for medical treatment
The incident was ruled as a homicide by the medical examiner, The Blaze reported.
According to the Wrana family lawyer, Nicholas Grapsas, the 95-year-old was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Corps in the rank of a sergeant after fighting in India and Burma. During his service in the Pacific, he was shot down once.
After the war, the Massachusetts native moved to California and got into real estate before settling in Glenwood, Illinois.
john Wrana died death was later ruled as a homicide by the medical examiner
His wife of more than 30 years, Helen, passed away in 2005. The veteran lived with his 74-year-old stepdaughter, Sharon Mangerson, until his health took a turn for the worse.
An autopsy found that the 95-year-old man died from internal bleeding after being shot in the stomach from a bean-bag gun.
Grapsas and Wrana’s stepdaughter have questioned the official version of events laid out by police, insisting that the elderly man was sitting in his chair the entire time, and neither his family nor staff ever saw a butcher knife in his room.
‘The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war,’ Grapsas told the Tribune. ‘It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job.’
Grapsas said he was told that between five and seven responding officers came armed with a riot shield commonly used in demonstrations to enter Wrana’s room before shooting him in the stomach.
His stepdaughter descried the 95-year-old as a fiercely independent and vital man who still enjoyed played cards.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Wrana was scheduled to undergo an operation. On the night of the tragic incident, his doctor told Margenson over the phone that even if he survives the surgery, her stepfather will likely end up on life support.
Wrana than got on the phone with Sharon, thanked her for everything she has done for him and told her he loved her before bidding her farewell and hanging up. That was the last she heard of him.
Mr Wrana's family are now deciding whether to file a lawsuit, according to their attorney.
'This was a literal war hero,' Mr Grapas said.
'It’s outright insulting when you have such lack of respect for someone who served our country to the extent he did.'
The Victory Centre is a 112-apartment supportive living community for adults 65 and older, it's website says.
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