Sleepy Hollow police chief says shooting took toll on department
Anytime a police officer is involved in a fatal shooting, it takes a toll on the entire police department, Sleepy Hollow Police Chief James Linane said.
Linane spoke with the Daily Herald Thursday about how his officers are coping in the aftermath of the officer-involved fatal shooting last Sunday -- a first for the village of 3,500 residents.
Fatal shootings by suburban policeIn the past 15 years, there have been at least 15 fatal police shootings in the suburbs, often after standoffs with police or in "suicide-by-cop" situations.
March 9, 2014 -- Two Sleepy Hollow police officers shot and killed a man brandishing a knife after a domestic disturbance that left two others injured, police said. It's the first officer-involved shooting in the village's history.
Dec. 12, 2013 -- Arlington Heights police shot and killed Eric M. Anderson, 41, of Niles, after he took his ex-girlfriend hostage in her mother's Arlington Heights townhouse resulting in a lengthy standoff with police. Anderson also shot an Arlington Heights police officer in the face when he entered the house. The standoff ended when Anderson exited the home through its garage and pointed his gun at officers, who fatally shot him.
July 8, 2013 -- A Kane County Sheriff's sergeant shot Batavia Township resident Luke Bulzak, 53, after he threatened to kill himself, would not drop his weapon and pointed it at deputies from the roof of his house. Bulzak died of his injuries later that night at Presence Mercy Medical Center in Aurora.
March 22, 2011 -- Two Naperville police officers shot and killed a suicidal Aurora man, 47-year-old William Ladew, who was shot several times after he advanced on police with a butcher knife after a disturbance.
Jan. 7, 2011 -- An off-duty Aurora police officer shot a 15-year-old Aurora boy shooting at a crowd of teens who refused to drop his gun. The teen, who was shot several times, was later pronounced dead at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora.
Aug. 1, 2010 -- Daniel Moreno, 28, died from injuries sustained in a shootout with police at his home in Arlington Heights after a standoff following a domestic incident.
Dec. 21, 2009 -- Des Plaines police shot and killed Krzysztof Kaczor, 24, after he threatened an officer with a long-handled ax he was wielding in a neighborhood in the early morning hours.
March 8, 2008 -- A Rolling Meadows police officer shot and killed Michael Chybicki, 44, who was intoxicated and threatening officers with knives. The officer ordered Chybicki to put down a knife and then also Tasered him, which seemed to have no effect, before firing the fatal shot.
Sept. 21, 2006 -- David S. Maxson, 43, of Wonder Lake, died five days after a standoff inside his home ended with a McHenry County sheriff's deputy shooting him three times with a shotgun loaded with beanbags. One of the bags pierced Maxson's skull, causing a fatal brain injury.
May 14, 2006 -- A Marengo police officer shot and killed Jose Manuel Aldava-Grijaldo, 21, who was the only suspect in the slaying of an elderly Marengo woman during an apparent robbery in her home earlier that day.
Nov. 17, 2004 -- Crystal Lake resident Kevin Cronyn, 31, was shot dead by police after a high-speed chase through the city and he began ramming his pickup into occupied squad cars.
Dec. 12, 2001 -- Joseph Frustaci of Bloomingdale was killed in an exchange of gunfire with Glendale Heights police. Frustaci was fleeing police after shooting his live-in girlfriend, Karen Robin. A Glendale Heights police officer fired several rounds at Frustaci's car after it sped toward him before crashing into a detention pond.
March 11, 2001 -- Robert J. Hejsak, 33, of Spring Grove, Wis., was shot by police after a three-hour standoff in Ringwood and an exchange of 37 shots between Hejsak and eight police officers, mostly from the McHenry County sheriff's department.
Aug. 20, 2000 -- Prospect Heights resident William E. Howard, 37, was shot and killed by police officers following a nine-hour armed standoff that ended with police forcibly entering Howard's home. Prospect Heights police officers were attempting to serve an arrest warrant for Howard when he fired a shot at the officers and they retreated without returning fire.
Jan. 16, 1999 -- Batavia resident Raul Montalvo was killed in an exchange of gunfire with two police officers after he pulled a rifle on police when they arrived at his home to serve a warrant.
SOURCE: Daily Herald archives,
The department has 12 officers, two of whom have been placed on paid leave since the fatal shooting of Erdenebileg Sambuunyam, 40, of Buffalo Grove.
"It does put a strain on us because it reduces our available manpower," Linane said. "My officers are putting in extra hours to cover the shifts."
The emotional strain also is considerable, he added.
The two officers who were involved in the shooting are undergoing counseling, which is being offered to their family members as well.
It's also a learning experience for the whole department, said Linane, who has been through a similar officer-involved shooting in his previous capacity as deputy chief with the Carol Stream Police Department.
"No law enforcement officer wants to be in this situation. No chief wants to be in this situation," Linane said. "But everybody takes note. Everybody learns from everybody else's experience as much as possible."
Just last December Sleepy Hollow officers went through their first "use of force" training, and are state certified to use all weapons.
"They are all qualified on their weapons once a year," Linane said.
Yet, Sleepy Hollow officers do not carry stun guns used by many police departments for stunning suspects -- something that may need to be taken into consideration in the future, Linane said.
"I know some departments' officers do carry Tasers, but many don't," Linane said. "It's more of a department by department decision ... and it would be based on research."
Illinois State Police's investigation into whether the two Sleepy Hollow police officers were justified in their use of force is ongoing.
Sambuunyam was shot shortly before noon Sunday after he brandished a knife and attempted to cut the two officers outside a home on the 1800 block of Maple Lane near Hemlock Drive, police said.
He was pronounced dead at 12:38 p.m. Sunday at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. An autopsy was conducted Wednesday, but a cause of death determination and toxicology results are pending, coroner's office officials said Thursday.
Linane said though he has spoken with all his officers about the shooting, there has not been any critique of how the situation was handled.
"We're not in a position to really do that at this point," he said. "My officers, in this situation, were doing their jobs. How well they did it, we'll let the state police do their investigation and get back to us on what their findings are."
Sleepy Hollow police have declined to release further details about why Sambuunyam was at the residence and what his relationship was with the two people injured during the domestic disturbance. Linane said he did not know the condition of the two victims.
State police is conducting much of the investigation, including interviewing witnesses, he added.
"They are doing a thorough job and we have been in touch with them and (are) cooperating with their investigation," he said. "We eagerly await their results and the final disposition on this."