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State's attorney says Bloomington Police were justified in shooting armed suspect

The shooting happened Thursday night inside a building in the Turnberry Square apartment complex in Bloomington, just off Cottage Avenue.
Eric Stock
The shooting happened March 30 inside a Turnberry Square apartment building just off Cottage Avenue in Bloomington.

McLean County’s top prosecutor said Wednesday that Bloomington Police officers were legally justified in shooting an armed suspect last month – and that their actions likely saved his life.

The shooting happened March 30 inside a Turnberry Square apartment building just off Cottage Avenue, where an armed subject had already fired his weapon before officers arrived. Those responding officers encountered him in an entryway to the building and shot him. The suspect survived his injuries.

McLean County State’s Attorney Erika Reynolds said body-worn camera footage and officers’ written reports show the suspect pointed his gun directly at police. The suspect was hit once, rendering him “incapacitated,” she said. No officers were injured.

“The McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office finds that the course of conduct engaged in by the officers was justified, reasonable, and necessary to protect the public and themselves from great bodily harm and loss of life,” Reynolds said in a statement. “Their actions prevented the loss of life and (they) are to be commended.”

PDF: Read the preliminary report from the state's attorney's office

Reynolds described their “heroic course of conduct” as a legally justified use of force.

The state’s attorney’s office based that conclusion on written reports of the responding officers, body-worn camera footage from police, and reports and meetings with State Police investigators, she said.

State Police were called in to conduct an independent investigation of the shooting.

After Reynolds' statement was released, Bloomington Police Chief Jamal Simington issued his own statement:

"Bloomington Police Department responded to a shot(s) fired incident without hesitation or reluctance after receiving a call of danger from the public," Simington said. "The officers responsibly carried out their duty to resolve the issue with bravery and concern for the lives of others. It is fortunate all involved — the complainants, the armed individual and the officers — survived this very dangerous incident. Our mission is public safety and gun crimes such as these are a high priority, which our officers are highly committed to appropriately address. I offer a sincere thanks to the Illinois State Police for their ongoing and independent investigation, as well as the Bloomington Fire Department, Normal Police Department and the McLean County Sheriff's Office for assisting the BPD the night of the shooting. I would ask the public to keep all involved in your thoughts and prayers."

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.