Initial report: Man in chase killed by shot within car, not police

Initial report: Man in chase killed by shot within car, not police

DANVILLE — Initial autopsy results for a man involved in a car chase and shootout with Danville police indicate that the man was not shot by a police officer, authorities said Monday.

Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said the results point to "a high probability" that the gunfire that killed 33-year-old Scott C. Islam last Wednesday "came from within the vehicle and not from the outside."

"This is a very preliminary report," said Thomason, who added that he's going by verbal information he got from the Champaign County coroner's office and Illinois State Police.

State police officials confirmed the initial report findings, but declined further comment. They're still investigating, Thomason said.

An autopsy conducted last Thursday showed that Mr. Islam, of Danville, died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrop. Thomason would not release specific details of the report.

Mr. Islam was shot during an incident that began around 2:40 a.m., when police got a call for shots fired in the area of Harmon and Woodbury streets. A short time later, they spotted a brown vehicle, matching a description of one that was given, near Fairchild and Kingdom streets.

When police tried to stop the car, the driver took off, and police chased it. After the car crashed into an apartment building at the intersection of Logan Avenue and Kimber Street, the occupants exchanged gunfire with three police officers who initially were on the scene.

Mr. Islam was struck by gunfire and pronounced dead at Carle Hospital in Urbana later that afternoon. No one else was injured.

"It was unknown at that time where the fatal shots came from," Thomason said. "There was a natural tendency on the part of a lot of people to believe that it came from police."

Two Danville men who were in the vehicle with Mr. Islam face criminal weapons charges stemming from the incident.

Charles R. Twigg, 29, and Gaylen L. Thomas, 27, were charged in Vermilion County Circuit Court on Friday with four counts each of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, one count of aggravated discharge of a weapon and one count of aggravated possession of two to five firearms.

They each pleaded not guilty to the charges at their initial hearing. Their preliminary hearings are set for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Twigg and Thomas are each being held at the Vermilion County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond, meaning they would have to post $50,000 in order to be released.

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asparagus wrote on March 03, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Mr Islam, was killed, dead, from a bullet wound to the head.

Sympathy out to the victims, and sympathy to the troubled souls involved.

Joe American wrote on March 04, 2014 at 11:03 am

Yup, killed dead.  As opposed to?

I'd like express my sympathy to the victims here, too, but no matter how many times I read the article I can't figure out - besides the taxpayers who will wind up footing the bill to prosecute and incarcerate these thugs - who the victims are.

Islam, Twigg & Thomas were the perps, so that excludes them.

No police were reported killed or injured, so that excludes them.

No bystanders were reported killed or injured, so that excludes them.

A little help here?

mannimal wrote on March 04, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Just because no police officers were physically harmed in the incident, simply being involved in a shootout can be a traumatic event for some.  The act of willingly becoming a police officer doesn't automatically grant someone the mental defenses for being shot at -- ask any soldier who has served in combat.

Joe American wrote on March 05, 2014 at 9:03 am

Being shot at does not come as a surprise to law enforcement.  Unfortunately, it's part of the job that they were fully aware of when signing on, they're trained to handle it, and in most cases they have a system in place to deal with it.

So, any other ideas as to who the victims might be?

freechampaign wrote on March 05, 2014 at 6:03 pm

unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and one count of aggravated possession of two to five firearms, as well as many other crimes society would be listed as the victim.

Joe American wrote on March 06, 2014 at 8:03 am



1. a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.

Assuming you're part of "society", tell me again how you were "harmed, injured or killed" by this instance of two-bit thuggery?  I'll give you society as tax payers (see above) but anything beyond that you're smoking something.

Yeah, didn't think so.  Anyone else?

alabaster jones 71 wrote on March 06, 2014 at 10:03 pm
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Huh.  Far be it from me to disagree with someone suggesting that the legal system is overstepping its bounds, and filing unnecessary charges for a victimless crime, at the expense of taxpayers and society.

But.....this is a bit much.  I don't mind paying taxes to lock up gang members who shoot off guns in neighborhoods, and then at the police after a high-speed chase through town.  Those seem to me like the kinds of people who might belong in prison.  I guess I must be smoking something.

Joe American wrote on March 07, 2014 at 11:03 am

Re-read the thread.  I'm in agreement with you - they need to be locked up for a long time.  Was just questioning who the "victims" were......other than the taxpayers.

use er name wrote on March 05, 2014 at 12:03 am

When are they going to finally post a picture of this loser (the dead one)?

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 06, 2014 at 10:03 am

No need for a Wanted poster now.  Do we want to go back to the Old West Dodge City mentality?

freechampaign wrote on March 06, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Heres the deal. You can look up the meaning of victim all you want. But when it come to police documentation and for the purpose of the S/A's office charging someone with a crime. Many crimes are charged based on society as the victim.  How do i know ?  I have written and testified to hundreds of such reports.  Oh, and i haven't been smoking anything.