Authorities: Vernon Hills man killed by police ignored warnings, pointed replica rifle at officer

 
 
Updated 9/20/2018 6:01 PM
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  • A Vernon Hills man ignored warnings and pointed a replica rifle at a police officer before he was shot dead in his garage early Saturday morning, authorities said Thursday.

      A Vernon Hills man ignored warnings and pointed a replica rifle at a police officer before he was shot dead in his garage early Saturday morning, authorities said Thursday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

A Vernon Hills man shot and killed by police Saturday was given multiple commands to drop a replica-style air rifle before he pointed it at an officer, authorities said Thursday.

Lake County Major Crimes Task Force investigators said Randy Rausch, 34, called Vernon Hills police dispatch to speak with officers before the shooting at 1:38 a.m. Sept. 15, said Lake County Major Crimes Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli.

Rausch told dispatchers he would be awaiting the officer in his garage on Marimac Lane, Covelli said. When the officer arrived, the overhead garage door was down, so he entered through a side door, Covelli said.

After entering, the officer saw Rausch standing with the rifle in hand, Covelli said.

"The officer gave several commands to Rausch to drop the rifle," he said. "Instead, Rausch pointed the rifle at the police officer."

The officer opened fire, hitting Rausch with at least one shot, authorities say. Covelli declined to say how many shots were fired, how many struck Rausch or where the bullets hit him.

Vernon Hills police officers do not wear bodycams, so the shooting was not recorded.

The rifle recovered at the scene is a Crosman Nitro Piston Powered .177-caliber air rifle with a 4x32-millimeter scope, Covelli said. The Crosman completely replicates a fully functioning rifle and is capable of firing larger-caliber rounds, he added.

Police are not releasing the name of the officer involved but said he is a veteran officer with more than 20 years' experience.

Rausch was pronounced dead at 2:12 a.m. Saturday as a result of the gunshot wounds, authorities said. Toxicology results are spending.

A woman in the home was not injured. The officer was taken to a hospital for an evaluation and later released.

The task force continues to investigate the shooting, Covelli said. All evidence will be turned over to Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim for review and a final determination.

Covelli said police had been dispatched to the home on multiple past occasions for a variety of calls, including several domestic-related incidents. However, Lake County court records show no one named Randy Rausch has ever been charged with a crime above a traffic citation or ordinance violation.

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