The incident, in Robbins, Illinois, occurred at roughly 4 am on Sunday, after a security guard told drunken men to leave the premises. Witnesses said that someone then returned to the bar with a gun and begun shooting — leading security to return fire.
Before police arrived, 26-year-old security guard Jemel Roberson was able to apprehend one of the men outside of the bar, according to witnesses. An officer responding to a call about the gunshots then arrived and shot Roberson, killing him.
“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,’” Adam Harris, a witness, told local media of the scenario that the officer would have arrived to see.
Witnesses said that multiple people were telling the officer that Roberson was a security guard.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘He was a security guard,’” Mr Harris said. “And they basically saw a black man with a gun and killed him”.
The incident took place in a village southwest of Chicago, in Cook County. The sheriff’s department for the county has released little information about the incident, but have said Roberson had a valid firearms owners’ identification card. He did not, however, have a concealed carry permit, police said.
Four other individuals were injured during the incident, including the shooter, but none of those wounds are thought to be life-threatening.
“A Midlothian officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an officer-involved shooting. The subject the officer shot was later pronounced deceased at an area hospital,” Daniel Delaney, the chief of the Midlothian Police Department, said in a statement posted on the department’s Facebook page.
Roberson has been described as a musician who regularly played drums and keyboard at Chicago-area churches. He planned on becoming a police officer, friends told local media.
“Every artist he’s ever played for every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” Reverend Patricia Hill of Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life”.
A criminal investigation into the original shooting is being conducted by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. The State Police public integrity task force is investigating the shooting of Roberson.