Lombard officer was justified in fatal shooting of robbery suspect, state's attorney says
A Lombard police officer was justified when he shot and killed an armed robbery suspect in December, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said Thursday.
No criminal charges will be filed against the officer, Detective Ryan Postal, who was injured during the confrontation with Pierre Thompson.
"Given the violent actions of Pierre Thompson, his refusal to obey police commands, along with his actions of shooting six times at Detective Postal, striking him one time in the leg, with a handgun containing an extended magazine and a switch enabling the gun to become fully automatic," Berlin said, "it was reasonable for Detective Postal to believe Pierre Thompson was trying to kill him and his partner and that deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or others."
The shooting happened around 4 p.m. Dec. 8 when Postal, a six-year Lombard police veteran, and another police officer responded to an armed robbery at a smoke shop at 54 W. Roosevelt Road.
Postal pulled next to a vehicle he believed was involved in the robbery.
When Postal saw Thompson run next to his car, he yelled "hands" to order the suspect to show his hands.
Thompson then shot at the officers and continued to run. Postal opened his door and shot at Thompson while yelling, "I got shot. I got shot."
Postal was shot in the right leg, breaking his thigh bone. The other officer was not injured. Thompson had fallen and dropped his gun.
According to Berlin, Postal said he felt vulnerable lying by the car door and being unable to move, and he thought Thompson was going to kill him or his partner.
Postal said he saw Thompson trying to get up and pick up his gun in front of him. So Postal shot twice more at Thompson.
Thompson was shot in the right side of his chest, the upper left arm and the right side of his back.
Berlin said he and his assistants reviewed police reports, statements from people involved, accounts from witnesses, physical evidence, photographs, body-worn camera videos, in-car squad videos, 911 calls, and cellular data. They also visited the site.
He said Thompson knew the officers were police officers based on their being dressed in bullet-resistant vests with police stars identifying them.
Berlin said the shooting met other required criteria under state law, including that Thompson had just committed a forcible felony that involved inflicting or threatening to inflict great bodily harm, was attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon, and that he was likely to cause great bodily harm to another person.
Meanwhile, a Chicago man has been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with the shooting.
Anthony C. Brown Jr., 31, didn't fire the gun, but because he is accused of participating in the tobacco store robbery, he can be held accountable for related crimes. Brown, of the 7500 block of South Hermitage Avenue, is being held without bail.