Authorities contend a man wounded by Moline police in a June shooting fired first, shouted “Shoot me!” and struggled with one officer before being shot by another, according to the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Steven Wilson, 26, Moline, was shot after Moline police responded around 12:35 a.m. June 22 to a burglary-in-progress call in the 3300 block of Avenue of the Cities, according to authorities. Wilson lives in the area.
Police were in an alley investigating the burglary call when authorities contend Wilson came to his front door and fired a pistol, according to a news release issued by the state’s attorney’s office.
State’s Attorney John McGehee said in a followup interview on Friday that it was unclear whether those first shots were aimed at anything or anyone.
There are indications that Wilson’s judgement was somehow impaired at the time of the shooting, McGehee said, but declined to elaborate.
Wilson, armed with the handgun, then left the residence and shouted, “Shoot me! Shoot me!” as he did so, according to the release. Wilson then charged Officer Brett Kopf. The officer fired his weapon, but Wilson did not stop.
McGehee said Kopf fired three times, but did not hit Wilson.
Kopf then grabbed Wilson’s arm in an attempt to disarm him, the release states. During that struggle Wilson broke free and pointed the pistol at Kopf.
Lt. Jeremy Weeks, one of the other officers, then shot Wilson twice in the body and Wilson fell to the ground.
There was a witness in the alley, a friend of Wilson, who was at Wilson’s front door when the shooting began, the release states. That person had come to visit Wilson and later identified Wilson as the gunman.
The witness said he saw sudden motion in the residence and the lights go out, the release states. It was then that Wilson came to the door and began shooting. The witness was frightened by the action and dropped his phone.
The person who was trying to visit Wilson was not injured, the release states.
A .38-caliber pistol and two .38-caliber shell casings were recovered at the scene, the release states.
The weapon was not stolen or otherwise illegal, McGehee said, but declined to provide more information about the pistol.
Wilson survived but was seriously wounded, the release states.
McGehee said Wilson declined to be interviewed as part of the investigation.
He could not say Friday afternoon what Wilson's condition was or whether he was still hospitalized.
At the time they encountered Wilson, both officers were in uniform, the release states.
A third officer on scene, identified as Heidi Nelson in the release, did not fire her weapon, McGehee said.
The narrative was based on evidence collected by the Rock Island County Integrity Task Force, according to the release.
The task force is a joint unit comprised of Quad-Cities and state law enforcement that investigates police-involved shootings and other incidents that involve law enforcement. The agency being investigated does not contribute any investigators.
When the investigation is complete, the evidence is presented to the state’s attorney, who reviews the case to determine if the actions of the investigated law enforcement official was justified.
The release states Weeks was justified in his use of force. Whether Wilson would face criminal charges was still under review.
McGehee said no evidence was recovered that indicated Wilson was involved in the burglary call that sent police to the area.
The complaint came from the All State Insurance office at 3311 Avenue of the Cities, Moline, according to the task force in the days after the shooting. Only the All State office was in the building where police initially responded; there are no residences there.
It was reported a suspect fled west down the alley and it was while officers were searching for that subject that they allegedly encountered Wilson, the task force said.
The Moline Police Department said Friday that Weeks and Kopf remained on administrative leave pending the results of an internal review of the incident.