Saturday, 26 Nov 2022

Police Officer Responding to Shooting Near Chicago Kills Security Guard, Authorities Say

A black security guard at a bar in the Chicago suburbs was killed by the police as he apparently tried to detain a man he believed to be involved in a shooting, the authorities said Monday.

Officers from several police departments had responded to reports of a shooting early Sunday morning at Manny’s Luxury Lounge in Robbins, Ill., said Sophia Ansari, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Witnesses told police that a fight had broken out and someone had started shooting. After the authorities responded, a police officer shot the guard, 26-year-old Jemel Roberson, who had a gun, Ms. Ansari said. He died at the hospital.

Witnesses said that people in the crowd yelled to arriving police officers that Mr. Roberson, who was wearing gear that read “Security,” was a guard. Ms. Ansari confirmed that Mr. Roberson worked for the bar.

“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard,” one witness, Adam Harris, told WGN-TV. “And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”

This episode happened as many Republican politicians, including President Trump, have responded to mass shootings across the United States by calling for more people to protectively carry guns. After a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue left 11 people dead, Mr. Trump suggested that people carrying firearms during services would have helped.

Ms. Ansari said that five people were shot during the episode at the bar. Four of the injuries, including those of the man believed to have initially opened fire, were not life threatening, she said.

An officer with the Midlothian Police Department shot Mr. Roberson, Ms. Ansari said. Midlothian Police Chief Dan Delaney confirmed in a statement that one of his officers had shot a “subject with a gun.” He did not name the officer.

On Monday, Mr. Roberson’s mother, Beatrice Roberson, filed a federal lawsuit against the unnamed police officer and the village of Midlothian. It alleges that the shooting was unprovoked, unjustified, excessive and unreasonable.

Ms. Ansari said the man who initially opened fire at the bar had not yet been charged. She said he was still at a hospital.

The shooting of Mr. Roberson is being investigated by the Illinois State Police, which did not return a call for comment.

Family friends of Mr. Roberson said he worked as an organist at several local churches and had once dreamed of becoming a police officer himself, according to local news reports. Mr. Roberson had a state Firearm Owners Identification card, Ms. Ansari said, which authorized his possession of firearms.

Mr. Roberson had planned to play later that day at New Spiritual Light Baptist Church, the pastor, Walter Turner, told the local ABC affiliate.

“How in the world does the security guard get shot by the police? A young man that was literally just doing his job, and now he’s gone,” Pastor Turner said.

Julia Jacobs contributed reporting.

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