Peoria Police shot and killed 25-year-old Eddie Russell Jr. Wednesday when he advanced toward officers with a gun.
Russell was the identified suspect in the armed robbery of First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust on North Sterling just before 1:00 p.m. The robbery suspect had also fled in the direction of Russell’s family home.
Police spent the next two hours trying to make contact via telephone, bullhorn and opened the front door to have his mom try to make contact.
Neighbors say Russell was known to the neighborhood and may have had a history of mental instability. Police Chief Jerry Mitchell says they were aware Russell had some special circumstance, but want to respect the families privacy on the subject.
The chief says when Russell emerged with the gun and advanced five or six special response team officers fired in accordance with their training. “Early indications are that they all reacted to the same circumstance about the same time. And that will part of the investigation that the state police will conduct is to determine how many shots were fired and from which officers that fired their weapons”
Chief Mitchell says police also recovered the gun Russell had when he came out of the house.
Peoria Chapter NAACP President Marvin Hightower says the prayers of the entire faith community are with Russell’s family and friends. “I just want the community to know that myself as well as the NAACP, as well as other faith community leaders, are definitely going to be tracking this very closely to make sure justice will be done.”
Hightower says before anyone makes an opinion on the matter it’s important that the facts are determined in the investigation.
The officers involved in the shooting are automatically placed on administrative leave while the Illinois State Police completes the investigation required by law.