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updated: 3/10/2014 6:38 PM

Sleepy Hollow's first fatal cop shooting, but not uncommon in suburbs

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  • Sleepy Hollow police shot and killed a man armed with a knife Sunday outside this home on the 1800 block of Maple Lane.

       Sleepy Hollow police shot and killed a man armed with a knife Sunday outside this home on the 1800 block of Maple Lane.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 
 

The man shot to death by Sleepy Hollow police was a first for the village of 3,500 residents, but it's something that occurs roughly once a year in the suburbs.

In the past 15 years, there have been at least 13 officer-involved fatal shootings in the suburbs, often after standoffs with police or in "suicide-by-cop" situations, according to Daily Herald research.

On Dec. 12, Arlington Heights police shot and killed Eric M. Anderson, 41, of Niles after he took his ex-girlfriend hostage in her mother's townhouse, resulting in a lengthy standoff with police.

Anderson also shot an Arlington Heights police officer in the face when the officer entered the house. The standoff ended when Anderson exited the home through its garage and pointed his gun at officers, who fatally shot him.

In the Sleepy Hollow case, authorities had not released further details regarding Sunday's shooting. Kane County Coroner Rob Russell said Monday the deceased man's next of kin had not yet been notified. Sleepy Hollow Police Chief James Linane could not be reached.

The man was shot after brandishing a knife and attempting to cut two officers outside a residence on the 1800 block of Maple Lane near Hemlock Drive, police said Sunday. Two others were injured during the disturbance.

Linane said at a news conference Sunday night the officers have been placed on paid leave while state police investigate the shooting, which is routine.

The officer-involved fatal shooting was a first for the Sleepy Hollow police department, which comprises 12 officers. It also was the village's first death outside of natural causes.

The village's previous accidental death occurred in 2009 and involved a 19-year-old woman who drowned in her family's swimming pool.

Linane said the officers acted appropriately in Sunday's shooting.

Officers arrived at the residence about 11:52 a.m. Sunday and found a male and female victim outside the home. The woman, police said, had an obvious head injury. Another man was on the home's driveway advancing toward the woman.

That man, police said, ignored the officers' commands to stop and instead approached them. After the officers tried unsuccessfully to restrain him, according to police, he pulled out a knife and tried to slash the officers.

The officers responded by firing at the man "for their own safety and that of the victims," police said. The man was pronounced dead at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.

There was no information available Monday about the conditions of the other man and woman injured during the disturbance. Linane would not say Sunday whether the suspect's knife caused the woman's head wound, or how the people involved were related to each other.

The officers involved are also disturbed by Sunday's events and were receiving help, he said.

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