Security Guard Subduing Nightclub Gunman Was Fatally Shot by Responding Officer, Illinois State Police Say

Robbins native, Dwyane Wade took to Twitter, saying he’s “speechless! even after hearing he was one of the 'good guys' he’s still shot like his life doesn’t matter.”

A police officer responding to a shooting at a Midlothian bar over the weekend fatally shot a 26-year-old security guard who was subduing the alleged gunman, Illinois State Police said.

Activists gathered outside the Midlothian Police Department Tuesday where the officer allegedly involved in Jemel Roberson’s shooting works.

That officer is on paid administrative leave. The details of the officer's actions are being investigated by the Public Integrity Task Force with Illinois State Police. 

Just after 4 a.m. on Sunday, officers responded to a call of shots fired at Manny’s Blue Room Bar at 2911 S. Claire Blvd. in Robbins, and a Midlothian officer who entered the bar discharged their weapon at an armed man, who later died at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to Sophia Ansari, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

The man had been working security at the bar and was identified 26-year-old Roberson, according to Ansari and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Roberson lived in the Homan Square neighborhood on the West Side. Authorities released few details about the shooting, but said the incident began as an argument inside the bar, according to Robbins Police Chief Roy Wells, who spoke at a press conference Sunday morning.

Robbins police initially responded to the shooting and requested help from two Midlothian officers, according to a statement from Midlothian police. One of those Midlothian officers “encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an officer involved shooting,” according to their statement.

Illinois State Police released a statement Tuesday night appearing to confirm that the officer didn't realize Roberson was a security guard.

"Upon his arrival, a Midlothian Police Officer encountered a subject in plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a Security Guard, armed with a gun in the west parking lot," state police said. "According to witness statements, the Midlothian Officer gave the armed subject multiple verbal commands to drop the gun and get on the ground before ultimately discharging his weapon and striking the subject."

Officers attempted to provide Roberson with medical assistance but he was pronounced dead at an area hospital after the shooting.

Activists want to have a national conversation about police involved shootings.

“We are here to state our vote of no confidence in the Illinois Public Intergrity unit, they have continued to fail us over the years and we're demanding for the first time a thorough investigation into the murder of Jemel Roberson,” Eric Russel of the Tree of Life Justice League said.

“Had it not been for Jemel there would have been absolute carnage,” Russell said.

More are joining the chorus of outrage. 

"Being black while working security should not be a death sentence," Karen Sheley, the ACLU of Illinois' Police Practices Project director.

"It's really necessary for law enforcement to take careful assessment of a situation especially before using force and here it appears a person's bias or initial response may have been influenced by race," Sheley said.

Robbins native, Dwyane Wade took to Twitter, saying he’s “speechless! even after hearing he was one of the 'good guys' he’s still shot like his life doesn’t matter.”

The Roberson family attorney says he plans to file a motion to preserve any video, surveillance or dash cam, as the investigation moves forward.

"The truth is out here, its cameras out here," security guard Stringer Harris said. "We want justice for what is right. Period."

Anyone who witnessed the shooting or has any knowledge of the shooting is asked to contact the ISP at (847) 294-4400.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
Contact Us