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.
Wow. I'm sure there is another side to this, but I'm hard pressed to imagine a series of events that somehow results in (NOT SWAT, my apologies, a different version had stated that) police officers with shields storming into a 95 year old man's room and shooting him while he sat in his chair. There clearly wasn't an iminent threat, couldn't they just have waited him out? The home didn't want them storming in there. And what is the charge for resisting medical attention? Even if he was some sort of threat to other residents (which he clearly wasn't at the time he was in his chair) couldn't they have used some other means of restraining him? He had a walker....
Here's video from the Chicago Tribune of the reporter who spoke with the attorney.