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Rockford Casino Gunman Hospitalized, Officers’ Shooting Under Review

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Posted on: May 31, 2022, 04:16h. 

Last updated on: May 31, 2022, 04:35h.

An armed man who was shot and critically wounded Saturday by a deputy and two police officers at Hard Rock Rockford Casino remains hospitalized today. He had pointed a gun at his head and fired a shot into the air before aiming the weapon at the officers, a local Illinois prosecutor revealed today.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley in 2022
Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley in April, pictured above. Hanley on Tuesday detailed an armed man getting shot by officers at Rockford Casino. (Image: Rock River Current/Kevin Haas)

The man was identified as Bradley James Thompkins, 51. He was struck by bullets in the midsection of his body, the prosecutor said. Thompkins is currently at Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, where he was listed in critical condition.

The incident took place in the casino’s parking lot, near the doorway entrance. It is believed he had been inside the casino before the confrontation with the officers.

Two Rockford Police Department officers and a Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputy each fired at Thompkins. They were taken to a local hospital for an exam, and later released. They did not suffer physical injuries.

The incident began at about 8:30 pm, when police were notified via a 911 call about a man in the parking lot with a firearm. The officers soon saw Thompkins.

“When confronted by officers, Thompkins put a gun to his head,” Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said during a Tuesday press conference.

Thompkins fired one shot in the air before lowering and pointing his weapon at the officers,” Hanley added. After getting wounded, Thompkins was transported to a local hospital via an ambulance.

Task Force Reviews Incident

As per standard procedure, an investigation into the incident was undertaken by the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force. It is made up of officers from 15 police departments in Boone and Winnebago counties.

It will investigate both officers and the deputy’s shooting, as well as Thompkins’ actions, Hanley said. At least a dozen detectives investigated the crime scene over the weekend.

Officers seized evidence, gathered weapons, interviewed witnesses, and secured relevant video. That includes body cam video from officers, as well as surveillance video from the casino.

Use of Deadly Force

The task force will present its report to Hanley’s office. Prosecutors will then conclude if officers acted under the law when it comes to the use of deadly force. Hanley, a former Assistant US Attorney, explained the standard that is used under Illinois law.

An officer may use deadly force when, based on the totality of the circumstances, the officer reasonably believed that deadly force was necessary to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious injury to the officer or others,” Hanley explained.

Prosecutors expect to review the task force’s report within 30 days after it is submitted. As of now, Thompkins has not been charged.

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