Posted on: May 29, 2022, 05:19h.
Last updated on: May 29, 2022, 05:33h.
An unnamed man was hospitalized in critical condition Saturday night after he was shot in the parking lot of Illinois’ Hard Rock Rockford Casino. The suspect suffered “life-threatening” gunshot wounds, police revealed.
Police claim he “pointed” a firearm at officers. That led to numerous officers opening fire on the man.
Both Rockford Police Department officers and an off-duty Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputy were involved in the 8:30 pm incident.
Neither the deputy nor the officers were injured. No members of the public apparently suffered injuries.
Some officers were taken to a local hospital for examination as a precaution, WIFR, a local TV station, said.
Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana said the off-duty deputy was working at the casino. A disturbance involving the man broke out, WTVO, another local TV station, reported.
Details on the incident were not provided Saturday night. Caruana and Rockford Police Chief Carla Redd both took part in a brief press conference at 10:30 pm.
The officials did not say what kind of weapon the man had, if he was warned to put down the weapon, or if the suspect ever fired a gun.
They also did not detail the wounded man’s injuries. Nor did officials reveal how many shots were fired by officers. One news report estimated it to have been “multiple rounds.”
Inquiry Will Review Shooting
They did say an investigation into the incident will be undertaken by the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force. It is made up of officers from 15 police departments in Boone and Winnebago counties.
A key question will likely be whether the officers acted under departmental policy and state law for the use of deadly force. The task force eventually will release more information, officials said. The timeline remains unclear.
Late Saturday night, more than 20 police cars were at the gaming property, according to the Rockford Register Star, a local newspaper. Police used yellow tape to block off the parking lot.
It appeared the casino remained open. The incident took place in the lot, not inside the gaming venue, officials said. Local police advised the public Saturday evening to avoid the area of the crime scene.
The casino is currently located in the former Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center at 610 N. Bell School Road. That is a temporary location which opened in November, the Star said.
In about two years, a permanent casino location is to be opened near Interstate 90. It is the former site of the Clock Tower Resort.
Rockford is about 90 miles west of Chicago.
Incident Follows Texas Shooting
The police-involved shooting at the casino comes four days after a Uvalde, Texas mass shooting. Law enforcement officers were criticized for not engaging a mass shooter quickly enough after he began to fire shots inside Robb Elementary School.
Nineteen young students were killed, as were two teachers. Seventeen other victims were injured.
The teen-aged shooter was killed by police. The husband of one of the deceased teachers died from a heart attack shortly after the shooting.
That shooting has gotten international attention. It has led to an emotional debate over how to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.
On Saturday night, about 100 protesters marched from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to protest gun violence. Many local students took part, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The hotel was the site of an Oct. 1, 2017 mass shooting. Numerous attendees of the Route 91 Harvest music festival were either killed or injured.