Probe underway into officer-involved shooting

Police Chief Steve Casstevens addresses the media.

Buffalo Grove police and the Lake County Major Crime Task Force are investigating an officer-involved shooting that led to the death of a man.

The incident, the first officer-involved shooting by Buffalo Grove police, took place around 12:30 a.m. Thursday in a parking lot of a vacant church at Radcliff Road and Boxwood Lane.

Preliminary information indicates the man, whose identity has not been released pending notification of family members, was a Buffalo Grove resident.

At a press conference, Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steve Casstevens (pictured above) said initial information provided to responding officers by 9-1-1 dispatch was that there was a man with a gun in the park.

            Casstevens said the caller told the dispatcher that “There’s a dude standing out there and he’s all crazy.” The caller also reportedly said the man was armed with both a .9 mm and .45 mm handgun.

As the call continued, Casstevens said the caller also stated that “the dude just popped off two rounds,” and that “this guy is dangerous.”

Hearing this, the dispatcher asked the caller who the gunman was, and was told by the caller “Well, that would be me”

Casstevens said the dispatcher told the man “at least seven times” to drop his weapons and speak to the officers when they arrive. The caller reportedly said  he would not do that.

When responding officers, described by Casstevens as “seasoned,” arrived they encountered a male white in his 20s who was armed with two handguns and that initial investigation noted that the man had a gun in each hand.

“The officers,” Casstevens said, “repeatedly told him to stop and drop his weapons which he did not do and continued to advance on the officers.”

The man reportedly fired a shot from both of his weapons. Casstevens said it is unclear if they were into the air or in the direction of the officers “as it was 12:30 in the morning and it was dark and not a well-lit area.”

According to the initial investigation, after those shots officers continued to order him to stop, but he continued to advance on the officers with both guns.

Casstevens said one officer fired several rounds from his handgun and did not strike the man, but the second officer fired shots which did strike him.

Buffalo Grove Police officers are not equipped with body cams, however Casstevens said there is dash cam video that documents the entire incident.  He said the footage and transcript of the  9-1-1 call will be released after the investigation concludes.

The officers immediately summoned paramedics and began administering CPR until paramedics arrived.

Casings from a Smith and Wesson 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and a Smith and Wesson .45 mm semi-automatic handgun, both still loaded, were found at the scene.

The officers were not injured and, as a matter of policy, were transported to a nearby hospital where they were observed and released. Both officers are on administrative duty during the investigation.

“No officer ever wants to take the life of another person,” Casstevens said. “Our officers are trained in de-escalation in critical incident response and mental health first aid. That being said, officers are often placed in split-second decisions where they are forced to take action that unfortunately results in deadly force.”

This story will be updated as additional information is provided by investigating agencies.


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