Thursday, November 1, 2012
ROCKFORD (WREX) - A man is dead after a domestic violence incident ended with Rockford police using deadly force against him. The incident began just before 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning when a woman went to the Winnebago County Justice Center and asked for help getting some personal items from 1811 Montague Street. Police went with the woman to the home, where they say Demetrius Bennett met them at the door with a knife. They say at one point Bennett used a small child to shield himself from officers as he pointed a knife at them. Officers used pepper spray to distract Bennett, but he allegedly wiped the spray from his face and went inside the home, where officers followed. "He picked up a plastic bag to shield his face from another round of pepper spray and at the same time he did that, he charged officers that were in the house with a knife and the officers that were in the house fired upon the individual," Police Chief Chet Epperson said. A neighbor who lives behind the home said she was surprised police intervention was needed. "I've just heard spats in that backyard, but nothing to where it was serious," she said. This shooting happened just blocks away from where 18-year-old Logan Bell was killed by Rockford officers. However, the NAACP Rockford Chapter President, Lloyd Johnston, said people should not rush to judgment. "It would be easy to think that there is an epidemic, that there is something suspicious going on, but to have an opportunity to come out, be on the scene, understand the circumstances, it is apparent that each situation is unique," Johnston said. The Winnebago County Integrity Task Force has taken over the investigation into the shooting. The three officers and sergeant involved are on leave pending the outcome.