Decatur, IL – Two Decatur police officers were shot while trying to remove a suspect from a vehicle during a traffic stop early Wednesday morning.
The incident began at approximately 12:25 a.m. on Oct. 12, when Decatur police stopped a vehicle in the 1300-block of East Walnut, the Decatur Police Department (DPD) said in a press release later that morning.
“Based on information known to the officers prior to the stop, when officers approached the vehicle, the driver, and sole occupant, was ordered to show his hands,” the DPD said. “The driver refused to comply with the officer’s instructions.”
That’s when one of the officers spotted what he believed to be a handgun inside the car.
The officers then attempted to remove the suspect from the vehicle, at which point he allegedly “produced a handgun and fired multiple rounds at the officers at close range,” the DPD said.
Two officers were shot during the ensuing shootout, which ended after the suspect was hit multiple times.
He was rushed to Decatur Memorial Hospital by ambulance and was pronounced dead a short while later.
The officers who were wounded in the attack were transported to the hospital by other officers at the scene.
One had been shot multiple times, and the second officer was shot once, the DPD said.
One of the officers was listed in stable condition late Wednesday morning.
The second wounded hero underwent surgery and was listed in serious but stable condition.
The DPD did not immediately release the officers’ names.
The suspect’s identity will be released by the Macon County Coroner’s Office, according to the police department.
“Anytime there is a loss of life, we are saddened, and our condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased,” the DPD said.
“We are also hurting for our officers, who were out working the streets trying to confront violent offenders and they were faced with an officer’s worst nightmare,” the department’s statement read. “Our prayers go out to the family and friends of our officers.”
Investigators said one Macon County sheriff’s deputy and three DPD officers discharged their firearms during the shootout.
They have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard procedure for such incidents.
The Illinois State Police (ISP) will handle the ongoing investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting, as per protocol.
An internal investigation is also underway.
The DPD said the incident was captured on dashcam and bodycam, and that the footage will be released “in the near future” in the “interest of transparency.”