BELLEVILLE, IL. (KPLR) – One man is dead after a bizarre series of events in West Belleville that led to a police officer shooting a suspect. It began with two men in their late teens harassing a window repair man outside a bar.
It was about 10am when patrons inside Foley’s say the pub’s window, broken out the night before, was being repaired. That’s when the two suspects came walking up, clearly high on some kind of drug according to several witnesses.
“These two young kids jumped out in front of the dude, Chris Douglas, who watched it unfold, told us. “And they got to the door and they started to threaten him, like I’m gonna kill ya. The crazy dude with the red bandana, he pulled out a knife eventually.”
The people inside called 9-1-1, but witnesses the two young men were just getting started on their rampage.
“They were gonna hurt either a building a car or a human,” the bartender, identifying himself as Steve, said.
Douglas describes what happened next, with police on the way.
“They ran over and started kicking at an old man about seventy, kicking at his car. Then came back and there’s a potted thing out there where people extinguish their smokes, he threw that but it went through the open window.”
At that point police showed up, and the two ran in different directions. The one who was eventually killed made it about a block before being confronted by a pursuing officer. Police are not saying specifically what happened that led to the officer firing, only that he felt threatened.
But a woman who lives just down the street watched it unfold from her apartment’s balcony.
“They were hollering for the guy to put it down, put it down, that’s what got my attention,” Vicki Brown said Wednesday afternoon.
“He said, ‘I don’t give a f*&#, go ahead and shoot me! Go ahead and kill me’! And at that point he was waving his hands but then when they told him to, ‘put it down! Put it down!’ He was like this. He say, ‘put it down,’ twice. And then the gun went off. And he turned like this and went down.”
The second man was captured by police. They say he was not injured, but they took him to the hospital anyway.
“He appeared to be under the influence of some kind of medication or narcotic and they thought it was prudent to have him checked at the hospital,” Illinois State Police Captain Jim Morrissey said.
Witnesses didn’t put it so delicately.
Chris Douglas says after the man was caught, “He’s going, ‘I‘m Michael the Archangel! I’m Michael the Archangel!’ I said, ‘Dude, you’re screwed up.
“I’m thinking they were doing all kinds of drugs I wouldn’t want to do,” he went on. “I don’t know what they were on but they were on something serious. They were nuts.”