Crest Hill, IL – A Crest Hill police officer’s femoral artery was slashed by a knife-wielding attacker at the scene of a domestic violence complaint on Monday night, according to police.
The incident began at approximately 6:45 p.m. on March 14, when a woman called 911 to report that her husband, 30-year-old Matthew Parks, had punched her in her face, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The woman said there were children at the home and that Parks was armed with a knife, according to police.
The 911 dispatchers said they heard someone in the background commenting about “suicide by police,” as well as arguing and crying, according to the Will County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO).
Officers responded to the 1400-block of Pioneer Road and made contact with Parks just before a physical altercation erupted, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Investigators said they believe Parks attacked one of the officers in order to provoke police into using deadly force against him.
One officer’s femoral artery was cut when Parks plunged a knife into his leg, the Chicago Tribune reported.
A second officer ended the attack by shooting Parks “several” times, according to police.
Officers rendered aid to the suspect after the shooting, but he died from his wounds at the scene, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The critically-injured officer was rushed to Amita Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet and was taken into emergency surgery to repair the damage to his artery, WGN reported.
He remained hospitalized in intensive care on Tuesday in serious but stable condition.
The WCSO said the wounded officer has been with the CHPD since September of 2019, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The sergeant who shot the suspect has served the CHPD since September of 2004.
Additional officers were also transported to the hospital for treatment and have since been released, WLS reported.
Parks’ sister, Marissa Skold, said her brother had talked about “suicide by cop” in the past and that he struggled with mental health issues for many years, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Unfortunately, this is the end result of not getting help,” she added.
The WCSO and the Will and Grundy Counties Major Crimes Task Force are handing the ongoing investigation into the incident, the Chicago Tribune reported.
UPDATE: WCSO Chief Deputy of Criminal Investigations Dan Jungle put out a statement on April 20 that changed the narrative dramatically, the Joliet Patch reported.
Chief Deputy Jungle serves as the chair of the Will/Grundy Major Crimes Task Force (WGMCTF).
“It was originally reported to members of the WGMCTF that Matthew Parks stabbed one of the responding officers in the leg during the OIS incident. That information was incorrect, and interviews and evidence obtained throughout this investigation have indicated that the officer’s injury was due to gunfire,” the statement read.
“One of the rounds discharged by the sergeant struck the officer that compromised the apartment door. The gunshot severed an artery in the officer’s leg,” the statement continued.
“Two of the responding officers on scene performed life-saving measures on the injured officer, by applying a tourniquet in order to control the bleeding. The injured Crest Hill police officer was transported to a local area hospital and underwent numerous surgeries to repair the damage done to his leg. Since the date of the incident, the officer has been released from hospital care and is recovering from his injuries,” according to the statement.