Video shows how Naperville police officer fatally shot hatchet-wielding man charging at him
Naperville police have released video showing an officer shooting and killing a man who charged at him with a hatchet in his right hand during a traffic stop of another driver earlier this month.
Police on Tuesday released more than 45 minutes of recordings from the officer's body-worn and squad car cameras that captured the June 3 fatal shooting of Edward C. Samaan, a 28-year-old from Naperville.
Police said the officer was conducting a traffic stop when "an unrelated vehicle" pulled up next to the stopped one on Bond Street just north of the intersection with McDowell Road on the northwest side of Naperville.
The graphic video, which the city posted on its YouTube channel, begins more than 11 minutes into the traffic stop. The footage shows the officer standing outside the driver's-side window of the car he pulled over and talking to the driver, who is inside the dark-colored sedan.
A second vehicle approaches them and pulls alongside the officer. When the silver sedan stops, the officer is heard saying, "Who are you?" The man emerges and immediately charges the officer with a hatchet in his right hand.
The officer fires his weapon six times with both hands on the gun as he steps backward.
Samaan drops face-first onto the street, rolls over on his back and briefly holds his head up before his head and both arms drop to the ground. The officer is heard saying, "Base, I've just been attacked. Shots fired. Shots fired." He then yells at the man, "Don't move! Don't move!"
The officer repeatedly yells "Don't move! Shots fired!" as Samaan waves his arms in the air. The officer then says "Oh my God. Holy (expletive)" and "Stay in your car" to the person he pulled over.
The officer pleads on his radio for assistance as Samaan continues to wave his arms while on the ground. "He's down, base," the officer says. "Send a medic. Send a medic."
From the view of the squad-car camera, the driver of the pulled-over sedan is seen ducking down on the passenger seat when the shots are fired. The officer continues to point the gun at Samaan on the ground, but he fires no additional shots.
"In the videos that follow, you'll see that the officer discharges his firearm, striking the subject, and then holds the suspect at gunpoint until backup can arrive to secure him," Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres says in the clip.
Paramedics took Samaan to an area hospital, where he died.
The officer, a 22-year member of the police department, was not injured. Authorities have not released his name.
"Any loss of life is tragic, and our thoughts are with the family of the deceased," Arres said. "I am extremely grateful, however, that neither our officer nor any bystanders were injured or killed as a result of this incident. As you saw, this scene went quickly from a traffic stop for a minor violation to an attack on a police officer by an uninvolved party, demonstrating just how dangerous the job of a police officer is."
According to Will County court records, Samaan was charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery and accused of hitting a police officer and a person older than 60 "about the body with a baseball bat" on New Year's Eve 2021. He also was charged with two counts of domestic battery in that incident. His next court date was July 7.
In April, Samaan's application to a mental health court program was denied. Court records do not indicate a reason.
In a prior case, he was charged with misdemeanor assault, accused of threatening to kill someone and taking a step toward that person on New Year's Eve in 2019, according to court records.
In April 2021, Samaan pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and was sentenced to a year of court supervision. As part of the agreement, Samaan was to show proof of continued mental health treatment.
Samaan did not show up at his next two court dates.
Prosecutors filed a motion to revoke his court supervision in April, citing the new charges stemming from the New Year's Eve incident in 2021 and noting that Samaan had not yet provided proof of continued mental health care. Then in May, when the case was up for a status hearing, Samaan appeared in court with his attorney.
His defense attorney, Eugene Fimbianti, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Naperville last month began issuing body cameras to its officers. Per department policy, body cameras are worn at a mid-torso level to capture the view of the line of sight from that perspective.
"It's important to know that the camera lens is fixed and does not capture everything an officer sees or experiences," Arres said.
DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin's office and the county's Metropolitan Emergency Response and Investigative Team are investigating the police shooting. Arres said the department continues to fully cooperate with the investigation.
• Daily Herald staff writers Alice Fabbre and Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this report.