A Rockford police officer shoots and kills a man on the city’s northwest side.
At around 7:30 Sunday night, police say a 26-year-old man was loitering and harassing customers inside the Hilander at North Main and Riverside. That led employees to call police. When an officer arrived, the suspect ran across Main Street. The responding officer drove his car over there to meet the suspect.
That’s when police say the man got into a shooting stance, as if to suggest he had a weapon. Then, the man turned his back to the officer, who drew his weapon. The officer told the suspect to stay put.
Authorities say the suspect then turned back around, and said “Shoot me, shoot me”. It’s at this point that the officer on scene shot one round at the suspect, hitting him in the chest. He later died at an area hospital.
“The officer was under the belief that [the suspect] did have a weapon,” said Dominic Iasparro, interim Rockford police chief. Iasparro said this belief led the officer to shoot the suspect once in the chest, killing him. Initial reports show the man was not armed. Police had not found any weapons as of late Sunday night.
This is the first time a Rockford police officer has killed someone in the line of duty since November, 2003. The officer involved in the shooting was not hurt. He will be relieved of duty for a period of time. He will then go on administrative assignment until the police investigation is completed.
Police have not released the name of the officer of the victim at this time. That information is expected sometime today.