Peoria Officer Cleared in Shooting of Luis Cruz

Nov 16, 2018

Peoria County State's Attorney Jerry Brady talks with those in the press briefing about his ruling on the ISP investigation on the police-involved shooting of Luis Cruz July 19, 2018. The mother of Cruz's twins and his sister question the findings of the investigation. Pastor and Peoria Chapter NAACP President Marvin Hightower and Chama St. Louis sit on either side of the pair.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

  The Peoria Police Officer who killed Luis Cruz in July has been cleared of any wrongdoing. Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady says the officer acted with justifiable and necessary force when he shot 19-year-old Luis Cruz.


Brady delivered findings from the State Police investigation Thursday saying the officer was acting to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another.


Officers Ryan Isonhart and Nicholas Mason were attempting to arrest Cruz for a shooting as well as a domestic violence incident. Police had been following him in the early morning hours of July 19th when they pulled over the car he was in.


Cruz, the passenger in the car, exited the vehicle, reportedly holding the right side of his waistband. Brady says it all happened very quickly, but then Cruz turned toward officers, pulled and racked the gun that had been in his waistband. Brady says Officer Isonhart yelled something like ‘drop it, drop it, drop the gun,’ and then fired his duty weapon.


Six casings all from Isonharts gun were found at the scene. Cruz was hit three times with four bullet wounds. Cruz’s weapon was recovered at the scene with his palm print on the magazine but no conclusive print found on the gun.


Cruz’s family questions the investigation and says there are too many holes in the findings.


This was the third time in a year Peoria Police have shot and killed a black man.  In each case, the man shot also had a gun.   


A statement from the Peoria Police Department says Officer Isonhart is returning to duty.