Man charged after officer-involved shooting in Rockford

The Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office said body cam footage will not be released at this time.
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 12:45 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - A 19-year-old was charged following one of two officer-involved shootings from last weekend, according to an announcement from Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley.

Updates were given following two officer-involved shootings in two days around Winnebago County, which launched high-profile investigations.

“The Winnebago Boone County Integrity Task Force will not release video evidence during the pendency of the investigations,” Hanley said. “Nevertheless, and as it relates to these incidents, it is our understanding that the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department and the Rockford Police Department will be releasing video from the incidents.”

The following sequence of events of the first officer involved shooting is based almost entirely on audio and video evidence taken from deputies body worn cameras, according to Hanley.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy were sent to a call from a victim of domestic violence. The deputy spoke with the victim inside of the Casey’s gas station near the corner of Mulford and Harrison. The victim told the deputy that her and her husband, Faustin Guetigo, got into an argument at their apartment. She stated that Guetigo did not want her son, who has special needs, to live in their apartment.

The victim told the deputy that Guetigo hit her with a closed fist. The deputy saw that the victim had a bloody lip. After meeting with the victim, deputies attempted to find Guetigo at their residence at 2191 Bellwort Dr. Deputies did not find Guetigo at that time, according to Hanley.

At approximately 5:45 p.m., deputies were sent to 2191 Bellwort Dr. in response to a call of domestic disturbance. Guetigo’s wife had again called 911. The first deputy who arrived made contact with Guetigo in the street outside of the apartment. He asked Guetigo to put his hands behind his back because he was under arrest. Guetigo then began moving quickly back towards his apartment. The deputy requested that Guetigo stay outside and not go into his apartment. Guetigo went inside his apartment, according to Hanley.

Additional deputies arrived and the decision was made to enter the apartment to arrest Guetigo. Deputies got a key to the side door of the apartment. One deputy entered the home and went to the left into the living room and kitchen area. That deputy had his taser out of its holster.

A second deputy, Sergeant Broullard, entered the door, into a small foyer, with his firearm out of its holster. The firearm was in his left hand and held at his chest. Broullard opened the basement door immediately in front of him. Guetigo is seen toward the bottom of the basement stairs. Guetigo was holding a silver metal pipe, according to Hanley.

Broullard yelled at Guetigo to drop the pipe at least three times. Guetigo did not drop the pipe and continued advancing up the stairs. Broullard fired at Guetigo. Guetigo continued advancing up the stairs as Broullard fired additional shots. Upon entering the foyer at the top of the stairs, Guetigo swung the pipe at Broullard. Guetigo struck Broullard on the top of his head. Guetigo and Broullard fell to the ground in the foyer, according to Hanley.

Deputy Eiten, outside of the apartment, fired his firearm into the apartment. This shot shattered the glass of the door.

Guetigo was given emergency care for his wounds by deputies. An ambulance was called and Guetigo was transported to OSF St. Anthony Hospital where he was later pronounced dead, according to Hanley.

It appears from the video that Broullard was knocked unconscious as a result of being struck with the pipe by Guetigo. Broullard was transported to OSF St. Anthony Hospital, was treated, and later released, according to Hanley.

Winnebago County Sheriff Caruana requested the Winnebago Boone County Integrity Task Force handle the investigation of the officer involved shooting, as is the norm with officer-involved shootings. The Task Force was activated and took over the scene and investigation at approximately 7 p.m., according to Hanley.

For the second shooting, Hanley’s office provided the following statements.

At approximately 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 11, Rockford Police Department officers attempted to stop a vehicle near the corner of S. Central Ave. and Michigan Ave. The driver of the vehicle pulled over near the 400 block of Illinois Avenue. Officers attempted to make contact with the occupants of the vehicle.

Before making contact, a passenger of the vehicle, later identified as 19-year-old Jose J. Gonzalez Jr., got out and ran. Officer Owen McGuinness pursued Gonzalez on foot. At some point, McGuiness shot Gonzalez near the backyard of 417 Illinois Ave., according to Hanley.

A handgun and a laser sight were recovered from the scene. Gonzalez was taken to OSF St. Anthony Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Rockford Police Chief O’Shea requested the Winnebago Boone County Integrity Task Force handle the investigation of the office involved shooting. The task force was activated and took over the scene and investigation at approximately 8:30 p.m., according to Hanley.

After the incident, the Rockford Police Department initiated an investigation into Gonzalez’ actions during the incident. The results of their investigation were presented to the State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

On April 13, the unlawful possession of a firearm by a street gang member — a class 2 felony charge — was approved against Gonzalez. A warrant was issued for Gonzalez’ arrest.

The charge against Gonzalez is merely an allegation and he is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law. This charge only addresses Gonzalez’ possession of a firearm, and not the officer involved shooting. While the facts underlying this charge are likely relevant as to whether Officer McGuinness was justified in his use of force, they are not dispositive, according to Hanley.

Hanley will reserve all judgment until the task force investigations are complete, he said Thursday. Officer McGuinness is on paid administrative leave, according to the Rockford Police Department.

Copyright 2021 WIFR. All rights reserved.