UPDATE: Danville police had previous contact with man killed by officers

UPDATE: Danville police had previous contact with man killed by officers

UPDATE, 1:55 p.m.:

DANVILLE — Police had prior contacts with the 34-year-old armed man who was shot and killed by two officers early Tuesday morning.

Public Safety Director Larry Thomason released that information at a news conference on the officer-involved shooting, but declined to elaborate.

Thomason released few new details of the incident at the news conference at the Public Safety Building, where he was joined by a group of black community leaders, including five ministers and the Three Kings of Peace.

In the wake of the shooting, Ed Butler, president of the local NAACP chapter and one of the Three Kings, urged community members to hold their judgment until the police probe into the shooting is complete.

“We don’t know the whole story,” Butler said, adding that comments about the incident and officers involved are already circulating on social media. “That’s why I’m asking my people of Danville to be careful. ... We need to stand down until the (outcome) of the investigation. Even after that, we need to keep the peace.”

Illinois State Police are investigating the shooting, which occurred at 1:58 a.m. in the 600 block of Harmon Street following a domestic disturbance a few blocks away.

Thomason said Danville police were called to the disturbance involving a 43-year-old man, a 39-year-old woman and the 34-year-old man at a residence in the 600 block of Sherman Street at 1:54 a.m. He said the 34-year-old had a gun and was threatening the other two.

Thomason said the 43-year-old man and 39-year-old woman received injuries, but he declined to say what kind. He also said the 34-year-old man didn’t live there.

“All I can say is he is an acquaintance,” Thomason said.

Thomason said the 34-year-old man left the home, but his description, along with his vehicle description and license-plate number, were provided to the 911 communications center, then relayed to officers.

He said two officers responding to the call — a veteran and trainee — spotted the vehicle in the 600 block of Harmon Street, four streets east of Sherman, and made a traffic stop.

“He was ordered multiple times to exit the vehicle with his hands showing,” Thomason said. “He did not comply with the orders. He did exit the vehicle and was seen with a firearm in his hand.

“At some point, the officers did fire upon the individual,” Thomason said, adding he doesn’t know how many shots were fired.

The Vermilion County Coroner’s Office pronounced the man dead at the scene. His name has not been released.

Thomason said the two officers weren’t injured. They are currently on paid leave and will remain so until he can determine “how they are taking the incident itself, which you can imagine is a very traumatic incident. It’s not something any police officer looks forward to.”

Once the Illinois State Police completes its investigation, it will send reports to Thomason and the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s Office, which will review them and determine whether the shooting was justified. There is no timetable on when that will be.

Thomason said he called members of the minister’s association, the NAACP and the Three Kings — Butler, Nate “Bobo” Smalls and the Rev. Frank McCullough — early Tuesday morning and met with them at 7:30 a.m. to inform them about what occurred.

“We meet on a regular basis,” Thomason said, adding they work closely together “hoping against hope something like this wouldn’t happen.”

He added he plans to continue “working with them in a transparent nature.”

The Rev. Timothy Shaw of Second Baptist Church in Danville also said the group will continue to partner with city officials and others in the community “to help in this situation.”

“We are deeply saddened for the loss,” he added. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the deceased (man’s) family.”

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Original story, published 10:30 a.m.:

DANVILLE — Illinois State Police are conducting an investigation into the early-morning death of 34-year-old Danville man, who allegedly was armed when he was shot by Danville police.

Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said the shooting occurred when police responded to a domestic disturbance in the 600 block of Sherman Street around 1:55 a.m.

“It was reported to police that a male subject had been present in the home and threatened an individual with a firearm, but had left the residence,” Thomason said.

Thomason said a description of the man, his vehicle and license plate number were provided to the 911 communications center and then relayed to responding officers.

He said two officers who were responding to the call spotted the vehicle in the 600 block of Harmon Street. They initiated a traffic stop and ordered the driver to show his hands and exit the vehicle.

Thomason said the driver had a firearm in his hand and ignored the officers’ orders, “at which point the officers fired upon the person.”

The man was pronounced dead by the Vermilion County coroner’s office. His name has not been released yet.

Thomason said the officers weren’t injured during the incident.

This morning, yellow crime scene tape surrounded an apparent vacant house at 606 Harmon as passersby slowed to view the scene and talk about what they had read on social media.

A news conference involving the case has been scheduled for 11:45 a.m. today at the Public Safety Building.

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