Danville officer kills man during foot chase

Danville officer kills man during foot chase

DANVILLE – A veteran Danville police officer has been placed on paid leave after fatally shooting a Danville man during a foot chase at the Fair Oaks housing complex early Tuesday morning.

Aaron Moss, 27, of Danville, was pronounced dead at 12:47 a.m. Tuesday at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, according to the Vermilion County coroner's office.

Mr. Moss, who was on probation and was facing unrelated felony drug charges, was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after the shooting on the east side of the city.

The Vermilion County sheriff's office is handling the investigation, but authorities are not releasing the name of the nine-year veteran Danville police officer who shot the man.

Danville police spokesman Larry Thomason said because of the stress of the situation, the officer deserves privacy.

Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn released information about the shooting Tuesday morning, and Thomason also released details at a press conference Tuesday at the Public Safety Building.

Danville police were called at about midnight Tuesday to the Fair Oaks complex, 1607 Clyman Lane in Danville, for a separate incident involving a juvenile. Police answered that call in the 900 block of Lewis Street.

While there, the officers were alerted to a fight that was breaking out in a nearby parking lot.

When police got to that area, Mr. Moss fled, and two officers ran after him.

Thomason said a bystander shouted to police that the man was armed. As the two officers chased him around one of the buildings, a third Danville officer approached from another direction. When the third officer encountered Mr. Moss, the officer saw that he was armed with a handgun.

Mr. Moss would not drop the gun and turned in the officer's direction, and the officer fired his weapon, Hartshorn said.

The police officer was not injured, but Thomason would not comment on whether Mr. Moss fired his gun or about his fatal injuries, declining to say where Mr. Moss' wounds were or how many shots were fired.

Hartshorn said a handgun was recovered at the scene.

Thomason said it's standard procedure for the officer to be placed on paid leave, pending evaluation, and for an outside agency to handle the investigation.

Hartshorn said anyone with information about the shooting should contact the Vermilion County sheriff's department.

According to Vermilion County Courthouse records, Mr. Moss was serving one year of probation for a battery conviction, and had three felony drug cases pending in circuit court.

He was arrested for possession of cocaine on July 21, 2005; arrested for possession and delivery of cannabis on Aug. 12, 2005; and arrested for possession of a controlled substance on Aug. 26, 2005. He posted bond after each of those arrests and subsequent arraignments.

In February, he was sentenced to one year of probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor battery. He was originally charged with domestic battery in the case, but pleaded to a lesser charge of battery. His jury trial in the three felony cases was scheduled for July.

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