Report: Gurnee officers who shot woman in May acted appropriately
The two Gurnee Police officers who shot and killed a woman who pointed a rifle at them in May acted reasonably and appropriately, according to an investigation by the Lake County state's attorney's office.
The investigation report was made available to the public Friday. In it, investigators provide a detailed account of what led Sgt. Jon Ward and Officer Benjamin Bozer to shoot Makell Meyerin of Antioch.
According to the report, the officers were dispatched May 23 to a report of a suspicious vehicle, a white Toyota Prius, that had a bullet hole in it near Harper and Gould streets around 1 p.m. The officers found Meyerin, 31, and her companion, Jordan Huff, 37, unconscious, and suspected at least one drug overdose. The officers were able to wake Meyerin, but she would not cooperate and drove off. Meyerin drove across a residential lawn, through a construction zone and crashed the car at Chittenden Park, which is east of Grandville and Estes avenues near Route 41.
Meyerin grabbed a Beretta Cx4 Storm tactical carbine rifle from the car and made her way up the hill to Route 41. While on the highway, Meyerin approached a passing vehicle, which quickly went into reverse and sped away. She also consumed the contents of a small plastic bag.
The report states Ward and Bozer took extreme care to try to calm Meyerin when they confronted her on the highway. They requested she drop her gun and assured her Huff was being cared for.
"They referred to her by the names 'honey' and 'sweetie' in order to present words designed to soothe, pacify, and calm Ms. Meyerin," the report states. "The officers displayed impressive restraint and incredible reserve in dealing with this armed individual."
The officers' attempts to calm Meyerin failed. Officers heard Meyerin say "just shoot me," and rack her gun to prepare it to fire. When Meyerin leveled the gun at officers, her finger was on the trigger, the report stated.
It was then that the officers fired at Meyerin and, once she was down, they stopped firing and went to her aid, the report stated.
Meyerin's gun was found to have five live rounds in it and the gun was set in the "fire" position. The autopsy performed on Meyerin's body found she had a litany of drugs in her system, including cocaine and fentanyl, the report said.
To complete the report, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force interviewed all witnesses and reviewed physical evidence, police transmissions, squad car camera and bodycam video evidence and more.