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Illinois Cop Ruled Justified For Shooting Suspect Charging At Him With Axe

Naperville, IL – The DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office has determined that a Naperville police officer who fatally shot a suspect trying to attack him with an axe was justified in his use of deadly force.

The incident occurred at about 11 a.m. on June 3 as Naperville Police Officer Frank Tonkovich was standing beside a vehicle that he’d pulled over near Bond and McDowell, WLS reported.

Dashcam video showed a silver sedan drove by the officer without incident but then turned around and returned a few minutes later.

The driver stopped the car in the middle of the road just a couple of feet away from Officer Tonkovich, a 22-year veteran of the Naperville police.

Video showed that he failed to put the car in park the first time he went to get out of it and the car rolled forward.

The officer’s situational awareness appeared to be high as he put his hand on his holster and then drew his weapon just before the car door opened a second time.

“Who are you, dude? Who are you?” Officer Tonkovich asked in the video.

That was when the driver – later identified as 28-year-old Edward C. Samaan – successfully parked the vehicle, opened his door, and lunged at the officer with an axe in his right hand, the bodycam video showed.

The video showed Samaan took several steps toward the officer, who was backing away from him, before the officer opened fire.

Officer Tonkovich fired six shots as the axe-wielding suspect sprinted at him.

Samaan began to fall to the ground after the fourth gunshot, the video showed.

“Base, I’ve just been attacked, I just – shots fired! shots fired!” Officer Tonkovich told the dispatcher a split-second later.

Bodycam video showed that Samaan continued moving after he fell to the ground and struggled to get up again.

The officer held him at gunpoint as he called for an ambulance and instructed the stunned driver of the car he’d stopped to stay in their vehicle.

Samaan was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The DuPage County Metropolitan Emergency Response and Investigative Team and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office did an independent investigation of the officer-involved shooting, WFLD reported.

“After a thorough and extensive investigation surrounding the shooting of twenty-eight-year-old Edward Samaan, which occurred on June 3, 2022, in the late morning hours at the intersection of Bond and McDowell Street, Naperville, by an on-duty Naperville Police Officer, it is my determination that the officer’s actions were justified and no criminal charges will be filed against the Officer,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement.

Berlin said Tonkovich’s actions were “not only reasonable, but necessary in order to prevent great bodily harm or death to himself or the motorist he had stopped.”

Officer Tonkovich was not injured during the incident, WFLD reported.

You can see video of the incident below. Warning – Graphic Content:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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