QUINCY — The Illinois State Police is investigating the fatal shooting of a man by a Quincy police officer who was checking on suspicious activity Monday night near 11th and Jackson.
Deputy Police Chief Doug VanderMaiden said police were called to investigate suspicious activity at 8:28 p.m.
“The officer encountered a male subject. During the encounter, the male subject pulled out what appeared to be a pistol. The officer then fired on the male subject ... (who) is deceased,” said VanderMaiden, who did not identify the man or the officer.
The suspicious activity the officer was investigating was not disclosed.
Police called for the Adams County coroner about 8:45 p.m.
Police Chief Rob Copley said the initial report indicated an officer was checking on “a subject on foot, when the subject produced a firearm.”
“The officer was not injured, but per department policy is at Blessing Hospital being checked out,” Copley said.
VanderMaiden said department protocol calls for officers involved in shootings to be placed on administrative leave.
He said the scene has been secured and the Illinois State Police will take over the investigation. They will interview witnesses and process any evidence. Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County state's attorney's office, also was on the scene.
A neighborhood resident said he was watching TV when he heard “pop pop pop,” and he immediately “hit the deck.” He believed he heard four shots, and he said that when he went outside, he saw police officers standing over a man.
Another neighborhood resident who declined to be identified said he saw the man who was shot shortly before the incident. He said the man was near a restroom at the north end of South Park, near Fire Station 5 at 12th and Jackson. As the neighbor continued walking his dog, he heard four shots.
Police quickly responded to the scene along with first responders.
VanderMaiden was not certain whether there is dash camera video of the encounter. QPD officers do not wear body cameras at this time, but Copley said the Quincy City Council is scheduled on June 4 to see a demonstration of body cameras that could be used by officers.
During a Tuesday National Peace Officer Memorial Day ceremony at City Hall, Copley said “trolls” have been busy attacking and spreading lies and hate in the 12 hours since the officer-involved shooting. He said those commenting negatively online are “armed with a lack of knowledge and a lack of decency.”
Copley said officers who must protect themselves in the line of duty are victims. He offered prayers for the victim and the victim's family and for the officer and officer's family.
This is the first officer-involved shooting with the Quincy Police Department since a June 29, 2011, shooting during a traffic stop on Ill. 104 near Quincy Regional Airport. Iowa resident Benjamin Biggs exchanged fire with Officer Tim Miller, who was hit in his gun belt.
Biggs later was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a standoff with law enforcement in a two-story house in unincorporated Kingston on Ill. 104.
The last time a Quincy police officer wounded a man was April 6, 2008, when Officer Greg Liesen shot 29-year-old Joseph Redman in the shoulder after responding to a domestic incident at 527 N. Eighth.
Former Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard later said the shooting was justified when Liesen “reacted to a threatening move.”
Quincy Notre Dame Principal Mark McDowell said he was unaware of any after-school activities going on at the school on Monday other than the typical slate of practices for the athletic teams.
Two games in a girls soccer sectional tournament are scheduled to be played Tuesday at Advance Physical Therapy Field on the school's campus.
“I don't know much (about the shooting), and no one has been in contact with me to show that we need to make any changes to our daily schedule,” McDowell said.