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Illinois police release crucial, but disputed new detail about officer killing of security guard

Illinois State Police said officers repeatedly told security guard Jemel Roberson to put his gun down before fatally shooting him. (Image source: Washington Post video screenshot)

Illinois State Police said witnesses told investigators that the officer who shot and killed security guard Jemel Roberson on Sunday told Roberson to drop his gun before he shot him, according to the Associated Press.

Roberson was killed by an officer when police arrived at Manny's Blue Room in suburban Chicago to find Roberson restraining a man involved in an active shooter situation at the bar. Roberson was armed, and its likely that lives were saved due to his actions.

The officer, who is from the Midlothian Police Department, has not been named and is currently on administrative leave.

Not all witnesses agree: Dorian Myrickes was also working security when the shooting occurred, and he said he never heard the officer order Roberson to drop his gun. He did, however, say he heard more than one person screaming at the officer that Roberson was a security guard, not a threat. Myrickes was shot during the initial gunfight that police were responding to.

How it started: According to Myrickes, the incident began with a fight between two groups of people, and as security guards were separating them and attempting to escort them out, someone came back with a gun and began shooting.

We may know more soon: State law requires that bodycam footage, if it exists, be released publicly. The involved police departments have not confirmed whether there is footage of the incident.

A promising life cut short: Roberson was a 26-year-old law school student who aspired to become a police officer. He was also a church musician who performed at several churches in the area.

"What we have learned is Jemel Roberson was a brave man who was doing his best to end an active shooter situation at Manny's Blue Room," Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. "The Midlothian Police Department is completely saddened by this tragic incident and we give our heartfelt condolences to Jemel, his family and his friends. There are no words that can be expressed as to the sorrow his family is dealing with."

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