The Forest Park police officer involved in the Feb. 3 shooting death of a 26-year-old Glendale Heights man on Feb. 3 will be put on administrative leave as the Illinois State Police conduct an investigation into the incident, according to Forest Park Deputy Police Chief Michael Keating.
"He's a seasoned officer," Keating said. "He's not new."
Keating said it's standard protocol to place officers involved in shooting incidents on administrative leave pending an investigation of the incident. The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit is leading that investigation.
The man who was fatally shot has been identified as Marco A. Gomez of the 100 block of South Waters Edge in Glendale Heights. The incident took place around 6 p.m. on Feb 3 near the intersection of Harlem Avenue and Jackson Boulevard in Oak Park.
Gomez allegedly stole a car in Glendale Heights and was spotted driving west through Chicago and Oak Park. A Forest Park police officer eventually spotted the car as it pulled alongside him at the intersection of Harlem and Jackson Boulevard, Keating said. As Gomez tried to pull a U-turn and head east on Jackson Boulevard, the officer got out of his car, got in front of the fleeing car and ordered Gomez to stop, Keating said. Gomez reportedly drove toward the officer, who "fearing for his life" then fired on the car, killing Gomez, according to police.
"Everybody was so boxed in," Keating said. "There were so many cars there."
Keating said Gomez was the only person in the stolen vehicle. There were no other passengers.
The Illinois State Police did not return phone calls requesting comment.
A Forest Park police officer fatally shot a subject inside a vehicle being driven toward him in the vicinity of Harlem Avenue and Jackson Boulevard on Friday at about 6:20 p.m., according to a press release. The officer was attempting to stop the vehicle, which was reported stolen and was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Chicago a short time earlier, police said.
Forest Park police received a report that a vehicle stolen in Glendale Heights was seen by Chicago police heading westbound in the area of Adams Street and Central Avenue, where it had been involved in a hit-and-run crash. A short time later, the vehicle was spotted going westbound on Jackson Boulevard, heading toward Oak Park.
A Forest Park police officer on patrol in the area of Harlem and Jackson reported seeing the vehicle stopped at the traffic light at that intersection. According to the press release, the vehicle turned back eastbound on Jackson Boulevard in an attempt to elude the officer, who approached the vehicle on foot.
When the vehicle began driving toward the police officer, who was standing in front of the vehicle, the officer reported fearing for his life and firing his weapon into the vehicle, killing a subject inside.
It is unclear if there were other subjects inside the vehicle. Because the incident is a police-involved shooting, the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit is leading the investigation.
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