ROCKFORD (WREX) – New updates from officials will be released on Monday for the first time since gunfights with two officials took place over the weekend.
The Winnebago County Attorney’s Office held a press conference Monday with the Winnebago Boone Integrity Task Force.
Saturday April 10th
The first gunfight involving an officer occurred Saturday with the involvement of the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities say they were called the house on a 2100 block off Bellwort Drive because of a domestic disorder.
When the officers arrived on site, the officers said they could not find the suspect.
The authorities were called home hours later and were able to trace the suspect outside the home. Authorities say the man went into the house where they found the man.
According to Chuck Davidson, a master sergeant with the Illinois State Police and commander of the Winnebago Boone Integrity Task Force, officers found the suspect in the basement of the house with a pipe.
Davidson says MPs told the suspect to drop the pipe and the suspect did not. Davidson says the suspect charged the MPs with pipe in hand. Then, according to Davidson, a MP shot the suspect.
Davidson says a MP in the basement was hit in the head by the suspect with a pipe and knocked unconscious. Davidson says the same MP who was knocked unconscious is also the officer who fired the gun and killed the suspect, but would not go into details or a schedule of when those acts took place.
Both the suspect and the deputy were taken to the OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. The suspect later died of his injuries while the deputy was treated and has since been released.
Sunday April 11th
The second gunfight involving an officer took place on Sunday evening with the involvement of the Rockford Police Department.
According to police, officers were attempting a traffic disruption in the Central and Michigan area when the car pulled away.
According to Davidson, officers were able to find the vehicle on the 400 block on Illinois Ave. locate.
Davidson says when officers tried to contact the people in the vehicle, the passenger got out of the car and ran away. A car chase ended in the back yard when officers fired at the 19-year-old man. The man was rushed to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Davidson says a gun and laser pointer were recovered from the crime scene.
Winnebago Boone Integrity Task Force
Both shootings are currently being investigated by the Winnebago Boone Integrity Task Force. This is a task force made up of law enforcement agencies from both counties. When an officer involved in the shooting occurs, the agency concerned requests an independent review.
If a gunfight involving an officer involves a member of the task force, that division will withdraw from the investigation. Last weekend’s case, Rockford law enforcement will be on the task force investigating the fatal shots of a Winnebago County MP. A Winnebago County sheriff’s law enforcement officer will be on the task force investigating the incident through the Rockford Police Department. Those who spoke at the press conference today upheld the integrity of the investigation, saying it was following Illinois state laws and protocols.
Davidson says the task force has “interviewed and located many witnesses in both cases.” Davidson also says the task force has spoken to some family members on the cases but has not indicated which one.
Davidson says there is still a lot to be done. The task force has yet to collect recordings from body cameras, emergency calls, radio traffic, hospital records, police reports and prepare / deliver evidence for the crime laboratory.
Davidson says each investigation can take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months, depending on the evidence. He says DNA analysis is the most time consuming aspect of processing evidence.
Once all evidence has been collected and processed, the task force will hand the file to the Winnebago County Prosecutor.
Strive for transparency
Winnebago County Attorney J Hanley hopes to provide visibility to the community on each of these cases.
Prosecutor Hanley announced that it would hold bi-weekly press conferences to keep abreast of any investigation.
“I want everyone to have confidence in the process itself,” Hanley said.
When asked whether body camera recordings are published in each case, prosecutor Hanley said it was left to the individual departments. However, Hanley said he thinks it is “more likely” that it will be released now than it was 3-4 years ago.
If the footage is released, Hanley says it can be released 7-10 days after the incident.
The authorities did not disclose the names of the officers or victims who were involved in the shootings. Hanley says the names are slated to be released later this week.
The Rockford Police Department confirmed with 13 WREX that the officer involved in Sunday’s shootings is on administrative leave.
It is not known if the WSCO MP involved in Saturday’s shootings is on administrative leave.
13 WREX has reached the sheriff’s office and has not heard from it at the time.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara released the following statement regarding the shootings involving the Rockford Police Department:
“There was a shootout last night involving a Rockford police officer. When officers tried to overtake a vehicle, an inmate fled and a car chase ensued. During the interaction, the officer shot the suspect, who sustained non-life-threatening injuries. A pistol and laser sight were recovered from the scene. Chief Dan O’Shea immediately asked the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force to investigate everyone’s actions. I appreciate the difficult work ahead of the independent task force and the prosecutor as they are thoroughly investigating the matter. I also appreciate the task force and prosecutor committed to providing updates to the community every two weeks. I urge the community to respect the investigation and keep the verdict on the officials and citizens involved. “
The Mayor of Rockford, Tom McNamara