Robbins, IL – A 26-year-old bouncer was fatally shot by a responding police officer at a south suburban bar shooting scene on Sunday night.
WGN reported that security had asked a group of men to leave Manny’s Blue Room Bar at about 4 a.m. on Nov. 11.
Witnesses said one of the men returned with a gun and opened fire.
The bar’s bouncer – Jemel Roberson – returned fire and apprehended one of the men involved outside the bar, according to WGN.
“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,'” witness Adam Harris said.
Shortly thereafter, police responded for a call of shots fired inside and outside the bar, located in the 2900-block of South Claire Boulevard, WLS reported.
Robbins police called Midlothian police for backup, and when officers arrived on the scene, they encountered Roberson holding the suspect at gunpoint.
That’s when a Midlothian officer opened fire and fatally shot the bar’s bouncer.
“Upon arrival officers learned there were several gunshot victims inside the bar. A Midlothian Officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an officer-involved shooting. The subject the officer shot was later pronounced deceased at an area hospital,” Midlothian Police Chief Dan Delaney said in a written statement.
Roberson was transported to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where he later died, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Four other people, including the suspected shooter, were shot, but police said they sustained non-life-threatening wounds, WLS reported.
They were transported to Christ Medical Center and Metro South Hospital in Blue Island, Cook County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.
The circumstances surrounding the motive for the initial gunfire inside the bar were unclear, but authorities said that at some point, there had been an argument inside the bar before the men were asked to leave, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
Police have not yet ruled out the possibility that there may have been another shooter, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
Witnesses complained that the responding officers should have known that Roberson was acting as bar security.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard,” Harris told WGN “And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”
Friends told WGN that Roberson, who was a well-known musician at several Chicago area churches, had planned to become a police officer.
“Every artist he’s ever played for every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” Reverend Patricia Hill of Purposed Church told WGN. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”
“It turned almost into a riot out here after he did that,” the witness said. “How do you accidentally shoot someone four times?”
She told WFLD that Roberson has worked as a bouncer at the bar for a long time, so everybody knew him, even though he wasn’t wearing a uniform to identify him as security to the responding police officers.
Ansari told WGN that Roberson had a valid FOID card that would allow him to have a gun, but that he did not have a concealed-carry permit.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the initial bar shooting, while the Illinois State Police have taken over the investigation of the Midlothian officer-involved shooting of the bouncer.
“It is the policy of the Midlothian Police Department to utilize the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force for any officer-involved shootings so we can ensure transparency and maintain public trust,” Chief Delaney explained.