McLean County Attorney Don Knapp said Friday that three ordinary police officers were justified when they fatally shot and killed a shooter during a “rampage,” killing two others and injuring three.
The Illinois State Police released police camera footage of the Aug. 30 incident at the Landings RV park, north of Normal, on Friday. Ordinary police were called to the landings at 3:44 p.m. for a report on an active shooter. Knapp said officers knew upon arrival that an armed object was at large and that the person was shooting at vehicles. Knapp said the issue reached out to the officers and started shooting at them.
Knapp called the officer’s actions “heroic” and said their behavior “saved the lives of several citizens”. He named the officers in his report: Shane Bachman, Evan Easter, and Cory Phillips.
PDF: Read the preliminary report from the public prosecutor’s office
State police identified the shooter as Ronald Reiner, 66, from Normal. An autopsy performed on September 1 revealed that Reiner died instantly from multiple gunshot wounds, including headshots. The other two who died in the shootings were Sharon Reiner, 64, and Julie Davis, 59, both from Normal.
McLean County Attorney Don Knapp.
The three people admitted to the hospital were all men, ages 34, 58, and 62. Your terms are not available. Knapp confirmed that the other shooting victims were all shot by Ronald Reiner. According to camera recordings, the officer saw Bachmann Reiner in front of a neighboring motorhome and shot in the direction of the latter. Bachman yells, “Drop the gun, drop it now!” Reiner looked at Bachman and pointed his gun at officers.
The officers fired several shots at Reiner until he fell to the ground. Knapp said he didn’t know how many shots officers – or Reiner – had fired. He added that a full state police investigation into the incident was still ongoing and could take months. Knapp added that officers near Linden Street saw a gunshot victim walking towards Reiner.
“All of this happened in a densely populated residential area in the middle of the afternoon when the children came home from school,” said Knapp. Why Reiner opened fire is unclear.
“We may never know why. I understand that the community is interested in why this happened, ”said Knapp. “That can be a complex question at times, and unfortunately the only person who really knows, or could ever know, has passed away.”
Knapp said he didn’t know if Reiner had a history of domestic violence or medical conditions that could have affected him. He added that Reiner’s family offered little insight.
“I will not put words into the mouth of any family member, but they certainly seemed like everyone else to be surprised that he would behave like that,” said Knapp.
Knapp confirmed that the other victims were all shot by Reiner. The police did not meet anyone except Reiner, said Knapp.
The police seized a handgun at the scene. Knapp did not say where Reiner’s weapon came from.
Previously, the ordinary police chief Rick Bleichner said the three officers had been taken on administrative leave pending the inspection by the state police. He said in an email on Friday that the department’s internal investigation was still ongoing but declined to comment.
“The ordinary police are grateful for the extensive work of the public prosecutor’s office and the continuous work of the state police. The public prosecutor’s release was extremely comprehensive and gave insight into the events on the afternoon of August 30,” said Bleichner in a statement.