UPDATE: The man who police say shot his ex-girlfriend to death in Freeport about two weeks ago has pleaded “not guilty”.
Today was 31-year-old Kevin Scott’s first court appearance. Scott went before a judge in Stephenson County this morning, pleading not guilty to nearly a dozen charges including first degree murder.
Police say Scott shot Melissa Nickel in the head in front of her home in the 600 block of West Elk Street. Officers shot Scott a few hours later when he tried to run which is why his lawyer says he was in a wheelchair today with a shattered tibia.
Records show Nickel had filed an order of protection against Scott the day before she was shot.
UPDATE: FREEPORT (WFR) -- The Freeport man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, is now in jail on a one million dollar bond.
31-year-old Kevin Scott faces six counts of first degree murder among other charges.
Police found 31-year-old Melissa Nickel shot in the head outside her home in the 600 block of West Elk Street last week just before 5 p.m. She died the next day. Scott was allegedly armed at the time when police shot at him. The woman had filed an order of protection petition against Scott the day before the shooting.
He'll be back in court Thursday.
FREEPORT (WIFR) -- An officer involved shooting in Freeport is now a homicide investigation.
The Winnebago County coroner’s office says 31-year-old Melissa Nickel died last night, just days after police say she was shot in the head by the man she lived with on West Elk Street, prompting police to shoot the suspect. The man’s name hasn’t been released, but he is expected to survive.
We’ve learned that just a day before Nickel was shot, she told police she was afraid for her life and that her boyfriend had a habit of stalking her. Stalking, guns, and abuse are just some of the words that stick out as Melissa Nickel described in her own words the fear she felt toward her ex-boyfriend Kevin Scott.
A judge approved the order of protection on Monday, just one day before Nickel was shot. In the court documents, Nickel says Scott took her to Krape Park on Friday and held her there at knifepoint for five ours. She says her ex threatened to kill her numerous times, punched her in her head and stomach and told her he’d been looking for a gun. Stephenson County Sheriff Dave Snyders says while orders of protection can save lives, they’re not fool-proof.
"There's hundreds of cases where individuals are violating those orders of protection and under the circumstances, depending on what the remedy is they can be arrested and they often times are arrested,” said Sheriff Dave Snyders with the Stephenson County Sheriff’s Department.
Nickel’s order of protection also states Friday wasn’t the first time Scott had abused her. Nickel said during their two and a half year relationship, Scott hit her four times and both of her kids once.
An order of protection is for anyone who is being threatened by a family member of someone they are or have been in a relationship with. A person has to have strong reasons for wanting an order of protection and it’s up to a judge to sign off on it. Every order of protection is different and there are certain rules a person has to abide by like keeping a minimum distance. If a person violates the OP, they’re arrested.
UPDATE: The Freeport woman shot on Tuesday in a domestic violence dispute has died. The Winnebago County Coroner just announced that 31-year-old Melissa Nickel passed away around 6:45 last night at Rockford Memorial Hospital.
Police say Nickel and the suspect lived together at a home int eh 600 block of West Elk in Freeport. Police say the man shot Nickel in the head while they were arguing. Officers say the armed suspect tried to run away from the scene when he was shot by police.
Names of the suspect and officer haven't been released. The suspect is expected to survive.
UPDATE: Illinois State Police have not released the names of the people involved in Tuesdays officer involved shooting in Freeport.
Illinois State Police say when Freeport officers got to the scene around 5:00 p.m. they found a woman lying unconscious with an apparent gunshot wound to her head. Right now, she remains in critical condition at an area hospital.
Illinois State Police say the suspect was inside the home when officers arrived and tried to take him into custody. Officers say the suspect tried to run out of the home displaying a gun that's when officers opened fire. The suspect was arrested and then taken to the hospital for a non-life threatening gun shot wound.
Illinois State Police say the suspect and victim are acquaintances and live together.
Illinois State Police and the Stephenson County State's Attorney are investigating.
Freeport Police say they were called to the 600 block of Elk Street around 4:50pm on Tuesday for shots fired. Freeport Mayor Jim Gitz says this was a domestic dispute and that a suspect shot a woman while they were arguing. Investigators say the armed man was then shot by police. He was taken into custody and then to the hospital in Freeport. The woman was taken to a hospital in Freeport, and then flown to a Rockford hospital. Several neighbors watched the incident unfold steps from their homes.
“It made me feel crushed. Especially with my little sister right there. And my little brother, they don't need to see this. I don't even need to see nothing like this," says neighbor Darius Crawford.
“It was right behind my house, I was worried about my kids. I told them to get in the house and don’t move, they didn’t catch him yet I thought something was going to happen to my kids so i made sure they were safe," says neighbor Cody Eiseman.
Freeport Mayor Gitz says he hopes people don't judge the neighborhood based on one domestic violence incident. He calls this a tragic situation and says that the officers responded in the right way.