By Scott Perry
Herald & Review
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DECATUR, Ill. — Two Decatur police officers are in stable condition, one having undergone surgery for treatment of his wounds, after they were shot early Wednesday morning while conducting a traffic stop, Police Chief Shane Brandel said.
The driver of the car they stopped died during an exchange of gunfire that involved three Decatur police officers and a Macon County Sheriff’s Department deputy.
The incident occurred around 12:25 a.m. in the 1300 block of East Walnut Street.
“Anytime there is a loss of life, we are saddened, and our condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the deceased,” Brandel said in a news release. “We are also hurting for our officers, who were out working the streets trying to confront violent offenders and they were faced with an officer’s worst nightmare. Our prayers go out to the family and friends of our officers.”
According to the news release, officers approached the vehicle and ordered the driver, who was the only person in the car, to show his hands. The driver refused. It was at this time an officer observed what appeared to be a handgun near the driver, prompting the officers to attempt to remove the driver from the car, the release stated.
“As the officers attempted to remove the driver from the vehicle, the driver produced a handgun and fired multiple rounds at the officers at close range. At this point, the officers returned fire. The driver then again fired at the officers, at which time the officers again returned fire. During the exchange of gunfire, one Decatur police officer was hit multiple times and a second Decatur police officer was hit one time,” the news release stated.
The driver was also struck multiple times, the release stated.
Rescue personnel arrived on scene “within minutes,” and transported the driver of the vehicle to Decatur Memorial Hospital, where he died. The officers that were shot were transported to DMH by other police officers on scene.
The release stated that one officer is in stable condition, while the second is listed in serious but stable condition and having underwent surgery.
Authorities have not identified any of the individuals involved in the shooting.
The Decatur officers involved in the incident will be placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure for this type of incident, the release stated.
This incident was captured on both body-worn camera and in-car video.
“In the interest of transparency, the Decatur Police Department will release the videos in the near future. The Decatur Police Department is committed to a full and transparent investigation into this Incident,” the release stated.
The Illinois State Police is handling the investigation. In addition, the Decatur Police Department will conduct an internal investigation into the incident.
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