Man charged in police shooting linked to earlier robbery

Man charged in police shooting linked to earlier robbery

DANVILLE — The man charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a Danville police officer is now being linked to an armed robbery at a Family Dollar store two days earlier.

Michael C. Rouse, 23, was arraigned Monday in Vermilion County Circuit Court on charges of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm in connection with Friday night's shooting of a 16-year Danville police veteran.

The officer, whose name is not being released, was hit more than once, but none of his injuries was life-threatening. He was released from the hospital on Saturday.

The officer was going to approach Rouse on Friday because of similarities between him and the description of a suspect in an armed robbery Wednesday night at Family Dollar, 1228 E. Main St., Danville, said Danville public safety director Larry Thomason.

At about 5:30 p.m. Friday, the officer saw Rouse walking in the 200 block of Kentucky Avenue, police said. He stopped his squad car to talk to the man.

When the officer got out of his vehicle, Rouse turned and fired, striking the officer and then running from the scene, police said.

A massive search involving multiple departments failed to turn up the shooter Friday. But by early Saturday morning, Thomason said, Danville police had developed Rouse as their suspect.

At 6 that night, officers spotted him in the 2600 block of Cannon Street. Rouse ran  into a house, which officers surrounded. After a three-hour standoff, Rouse surrendered peacefully to authorities.

Rouse had been released from prison in January and was on parole. At the time of his weekend arrest, he was wanted on a warrant from the Illinois Department of Corrections, for absence without authorization.

Thomason said his criminal record stretches back to contact with police as a juvenile.

In 2009, Rouse was convicted on armed robbery charges and sentenced in Vermilion County Circuit Court to eight years in prison. He was paroled after serving a little more than four years.

Rouse also has a 2008 conviction in Cook County for burglary. He was sentenced to three years in prison on that charge.

Little else is known about Rouse, who listed an address in rural Ridge Farm following Saturday's arrest. District officials say Monday that Rouse did not attend Georgetown-Ridge Farm schools. Rouse listed a Rantoul address following his 2009 arrest.

Rouse remains in custody at the Vermilion County jail, awaiting his next court appearance. His bond was set at $5 million, according to court records.

His preliminary hearing on the attempted murder charges is scheduled for June 19.

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