Deputy shoots chainsaw wielding man while responding to domestic dispute

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MONROE COUNTY, IL - A domestic dispute turned violent in Monroe County, Illinois Wednesday night when sources say a suspect armed with a running chainsaw went after a sheriff’s deputy, who shot and killed the man.

The deputy, a 15-year veteran of the force, has been put on paid leave.

This all unfolded near Maeystown where neighbors heard a disturbance before the law were called to the scene.

Kathy Goldschmidt said her husband heard some noise.

“He heard some people yelling some commotion going on, but that’s about it,” she said.

She said her husband later heard gunshots.

Edwin J. Esker, 53, was killed. He died of multiple gunshot wounds. Sources said the deputy fired after Esker came at him with a running chainsaw.

“(Esker) was quiet. He would keep to himself,” Goldschmidt said.

The Illinois State Police was called in as the outside independent agency to investigate the officer-involved shooting. Law enforcement officers said a domestic disturbance is one of the most dangerous calls they respond to.

“We are on higher alert when we go to these because they’re so sensitive in nature, because it’s usually a loved one against a loved one that’s involved in this, so there’s a lot of emotion involved in these can go bad pretty quick,” said Lt. Derek Wise, interim director at the Illinois State Police in Collinsville.

Neighbors said Esker had three children: two sons and a daughter.

“I think the whole thing is very sad. I think something did happen and got out of hand. It was a sad situation,” Goldschmidt said.

She said Esker had trouble keeping a job, but added he was not a dangerous person.

It could be months before the investigation is complete.