DANVILLE — The shooting of a rural Danville man by a Vermilion County sheriff's deputy last November was justified, according to the county's top prosecutor.
State's Attorney Randy Brinegar said he has concluded his investigation into the shooting, which injured 21-year-old Caleb R. Emory, and determined the deputy — a 20-plus-year veteran, who has not been identified — was responding to an incident requiring the use of force and that he lawfully fired his gun.
"There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that he acted properly and within the boundaries of the law," said Brinegar, whose decision came after reviewing reports by the Illinois State Police, which investigated the shooting, and conducting his own follow-up interviews.
"The decision to use force is a difficult one," he continued. "The U.S. Supreme Court has indicated that a review of the officer's action must be made from the point of view of the officer and take into consideration the risks and danger he or she faced at the time. In this case, the officer acted by using the necessary level of force to resolve a dangerous situation."
Deputies were called to a domestic disturbance at Emory's residence at 2530 Georgetown Road in unincorporated Hegeler, south of Danville, at 4:13 a.m. Nov. 21. Authorities said Emory was shot by the deputy "during the attempted enforcement" action.
Brinegar said he couldn't release further details because of Emory's pending criminal charges stemming from that incident and another that occurred shortly before he was shot.
"The only thing I can say is it was the result of the actions taken by Caleb Emory," Brinegar said.
Emory was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries to his left jaw for several days.
Following his release from the hospital, he was charged with one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm, one count of aggravated assault for a person 60 years old and one count of assault in connection with the earlier incident.
That incident occurred at a home at 138 Arlington Dr. in unincorporated Home Gardens, also south of Danville.
At a preliminary hearing in December, a state police sergeant testified that Emory was at the residence for a drinking party when he got into an argument with the owner. She said witnesses heard a gunshot, then noticed a bullet hole in the window, a divot mark on a nearby washing machine, a hole in the mattress that was leaning up against the washer and a paint chip on the washer that was consistent with a bullet striking the house.
The sergeant also testified that another party-goer told police that when he asked Emory why he shot at them, Emory said he didn't know why and that he was sorry.
Emory, who was released from jail after posting bond, is scheduled to stand trial on the charges on July 28.