In an apparent case of mistaken identity, an Illinois cop shot and killed an armed security guard who had detained a gunman inside a bar Sunday morning.
The security guard was black, leaving witnesses believing that race played a role in the shooting. The race of the actual suspect has not been reported at this time but he survived the shooting.
Several witnesses tried to warn the cop that the man with the gun detaining the other man with a gun was a security guard, but the Midlothian police officer fired anyway, killing Jemel Roberson.
The name of the Midlothian police officer has not been released.
Roberson, 26, had plans to become a police officer, family members told local media.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard,” Harris said. “And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”
Friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches, who had plans to become a police officer.
“Every artist he’s ever played for every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill of Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.
“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill of Purposed Church said.
The incident took place at 4 a.m. at Manny’s Blue Room Bar after a group of drunk men were kicked out for being disruptive. One of the men came back with a gun and started shooting.
Roberson fired back, then detained him. He had his knee on his back when the cop stormed in and started firing.
Illinois State Police will investigate the shooting while the Cook County District Attorney’s Office will investigate the initial shooting.