RANTOUL – Detectives from several jurisdictions are investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting in Rantoul on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the Champaign County coroner’s office identified the man killed as 18-year-old Jordan A. Richardson.
Rantoul Deputy Chief Justin Bouse said Sergeant Jerry King fired the shot that killed Richardson. King was one of three officers on the scene and was Shift Commander on duty at the time.
Bouse said the incident began Wednesday at around 12:27 p.m. when three police officers located a vehicle along Campbell Avenue. The vehicle escaped a police chase back in April.
“The same officer that attempted to stop the car in April was the same officer that found the vehicle yesterday [June 7th],” said Bouse.
Bouse said after one officer engaged in a consensual conversation with the 20-year-old driver, he noted an illegal amount of cannabis in the vehicle. That is when Richardson fled from the scene on foot.
Bouse said during the pursuit, Richardson fell to the ground while holding a gun in the 400 block of Belle Avenue. When Richardson turned to face the two officers in pursuit, Sgt. King fired, striking Richardson in the chest.
It is not yet confirmed whether Richardson had pointed his gun at the officers.
“I would leave that for the state police investigation and for us to release the body cam footage for people to determine that for themselves,” said Bouse.
Richardson was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital at approximately 1:42pm on Wednesday.
The driver was taken into custody and charged with unlawful use/possession of a weapon and delivery of cannabis.
Bouse said that they take transparency very seriously and the public will need to be patient for further details on the case pending the investigation.
“The investigation is being overseen by the Illinois State Police,” said Bouse. “The State Police coordinates with what’s called the Champaign County multi jurisdictional investigation investigative team, and they will handle the investigation from start to finish.”
This is the second fatal police-involved shooting in Rantoul this year.
In February, 21-year-old Azaan Lee of Champaign was killed by a bullet from his own gun during a struggle with police.
Bouse said that anytime they are trained to avoid use of force where someone could die.
“It’s something that we take very seriously, we understand the impact it can have on the community,” said Bouse.
However, Bouse says it can be a two-way street.
“The one that remains consistent is just obeying the officers orders,” said Bouse. “Not putting yourself in a position when you have a firearm on your person to put that officer’s life in danger.”
Many residents on the street where the shooting transpired were not home at the time of the incident.
Carissa Nelson is one of those residents. She is a longtime resident of Rantoul and a mother of two children.
“It was shocking to see my street filled with police, but it feels like it was a one-off,” said Nelson. “Rantoul overall is a really great community, and I don’t think this takes away from that.”
However, she does think gun violence is an issue that needs to be addressed – but not just in Rantoul.
“I think it’s something a lot of communities are struggling with and that we as a whole society need to figure out how we can better take care of our communities,” said Nelson.