As law enforcement officials continue to investigate an officer-involved shooting Sunday morning in Aurora, Mayor Richard Irvin urged people to wait for the results of the investigation before making judgments about the incident.
Irvin spoke during Tuesday’s City Council meeting in response to the incident that left an Aurora man in critical condition after he was shot by an Aurora police officer after allegedly charging at the officer while armed with knives outside a home in the city.
Police responded to the house after a family member called 911 to report another family member was armed with multiple knives and threatening people inside the house, officials said.
Aurora Police Chief Keith Cross said officers saw the man with multiple knives in the doorway of the house and said he was threatening to kill everyone.
Cross said officers made efforts to verbally de-escalate the situation, making multiple commands for the man to drop his weapons. The man then turned his attention to the police officers and threatened to kill them, according to police.
The man exited the home and engaged with the officers in the garage, officials said. The man, still armed with the knives, then charged at an officer, who then shot the man, according to police. Police declined to say how many times the man had been shot due to the ongoing investigation.
The investigation of the incident was turned over to the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force, in accordance with Illinois law. The task force is comprised of police officers from a variety of county police agencies and serves as an independent investigative agency.
Aurora police said the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office is determining whether criminal charges will be filed against the man who was shot. If so, his identity will be released to the public, police said.
Police also said they are working with the task force to determine when to release the officers’ body camera footage from the incident.
Police on Monday said they could not answer several questions regarding the case because it is still under investigation.
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Irvin called the incident a “terrible tragedy on all sides.”
“Our hearts are with that young man and his family and we will continue to pray for him and that young man’s recovery,” Irvin said, adding that he personally knows the family involved.
“Our hearts are also with all of our responding officers on the scene, particularly those put in an extremely dangerous situation and had to make the very difficult choice to use deadly force in a circumstance that continued to escalate,” Irvin said.
Cross said the officers used de-escalation tactics during the incident, but declined to say what specific tactics were used.
Irvin said he has seen the body camera footage and said the officers attempted to de-escalate the situation while the man was threatening to harm and kill the officers.
“It was deemed necessary to protect the officers on the scene and the others in the area, including the young man’s family who initially called police to the scene,” Irvin said.
Cross said there were no mental health professionals on the scene during the incident. Since 2020, the department has used a “co-response method” with social workers to help individuals in a mental health crisis that may pose a risk to themselves or others, according to the department’s website.
Cross said during a news conference Monday that when someone calls and says there is a mental health issue going on at a residence, the police will first send out two officers.
“Preferably we’d like to get our crisis intervention team to respond, but that’s not always possible,” Cross said. “We assign people to certain areas of town and we have to look at our resources to see if we can send someone. But that wasn’t the call that came in. The call was for a person who was inside the residence armed with knives arguing with the family.”
Irvin said he knows mental health issues are prevalent in the Aurora community, but he said the family made a 911 call for domestic violence and “those facts were not provided in the initial 911 call.”
“I’m sure many in the community have burning questions that need to be answered, especially when the answers come within a life or death context,” Irvin said. “All those questions will be answered at the completion of the investigation.”