Macon County State’s Attorney Releases Determination On Officer Involved Shooting
Macon County State’s Attorney Scott A. Rueter released the following information Monday morning:
“As State’s Attorney, I have been asked to review the tragic events surrounding the officer involved shooting of the early morning hours of October 12, 2022, to determine if there was criminal liability on the part of the officers involved. I have reviewed the investigative reports submitted by the Illinois State Police, the reports generated by members of the Decatur Police Department, and most importantly, the first hand evidence of the body worn cameras and squad car videos of the officers at the scene of the shooting.
“Based on the review of those materials, I am of the opinion that the officer’s use of force in this situation was not in violation of the laws of the State of Illinois and unfortunately a necessary response to the actions of the deceased.
“We know that our community has been plagued recently with the misuse of firearms by individuals who have no regard for the life or safety of others. The Decatur Police Department, in an effort to curb such violence, are taking proactive measures to address the issue. The investigation into the events of October 12 reveal that the officers involved had information, which turned out to be accurate, that the suspect individual had firearms, in violation of Illinois law. He was a felon, and not entitled to possession of any firearms. He had two. They conducted a traffic stop, based on a minor traffic violation, as is allowed under Illinois law. The suspect refused to comply with their demands to ensure their and his safety in the progression of the stop.
“The officers, concerned that he might use the firearm they believe he had, drew their weapons, because of his failure to comply. He then drew one of his own weapons and fired off the first shot, and exited his vehicle as the officers backed away. Shots were exchanged between officers and the suspect. From the physical evidence present, it appears his first weapon jammed. The suspect retreated back into his vehicle and then came out again with his other firearm in hand. He was able to expend all rounds from that weapon. One of the officers was lying in the street exposed. His only recourse was to ensure the threat to himself and others was neutralized, and in so doing, was required to expend all rounds in his weapon as the suspect had done.
“The entire exchange only took a matter of a few seconds. Of particular note, before any shots were fired, one of the officers, trying to gain control of the suspect’s hand, and thereby control the ability of the suspect to reach and possibly use a weapon, moved to holster his firearm to effect control of the suspect. It was at the opportunity of seeing the officer putting his weapon away, that the suspect chose to draw his firearm and fire the first shot. Therefore, I decline to hold that the officer’s actions in this circumstance were unwarranted.”