Niles police said a shooting involving two officers killed a man who ran from them on Wednesday afternoon. Those officers will be placed on paid leave during the investigation.
A white Ford Fusion with a sheet draped over the passenger side and a rear window shattered — most likely by gunfire — was the focus of the investigation at the Royal Mall Apartments on Vienna Avenue in Niles.
“There was an officer-involved shooting at that point. We have no other information for you other than the suspect is deceased and the officers are OK,” said Niles Police Capt. John Marshall.
He said it started around 2:30 p.m. at Niles Municipal Court. A court security officer told dispatchers a male suspect had an active arrest warrant on assault charges from December. We don’t yet know why the man was in court.
Marshall said an officer was trying to arrest him when the man ran away and tried to hit the officer with his car.
That led to an alert being sent out and the car’s license plate was tracked to the Royal Mall Apartments, where the shooting happened.
At some point, the man’s car crashed into another car parked in front of an apartment.
Investigators couldn’t say how the gunfire started.
“That information, I don’t have and even if I did, that’s not something I could release at this point, simply because it’s presently under investigation,” Marshall said.
But neighbors clearly heard what was going on.
“I was in the basement, watching The Office on my phone, on Netflix,” Zachary Henderson said. “I’m hearing five, six or seven shots go off. I’m like, ‘What in the world is going on?’ I didn’t think anything of it. Ten minutes later, my sister come to the basement, yelling my name. I thought the house was on fire. She said, ‘There’s 16 cop cars outside!'”
“I was in the house and we heard about six gunshots. I thought it was fireworks at first,” Brenda Gourley said.
“I go on my live video and I’m like, ‘What happened?’ She’s like, ‘I don’t know, someone’s shooting and someone got dead,’ and seen the ambulance and everything,” Henderson said. “I’m like, ‘Oh my god.’ Second day of the new year.”
There were close to 20 police vehicles at the scene — a dozen of which had their lights flashing. Crime scene tape surrounded the area where the shooting took place. The driveway leading to the apartments was blocked off, forcing residents to walk through the yard to get home.
Shortly after agents with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrived, someone who apparently knew the victim could be seen being comforted.
Police aren’t saying which officers were involved.
Marshall said he didn’t know if police had dealt with the man before. His identity hasn’t been released.
Police are expected to share more details Thursday morning.