CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office and University of Illinois Police Department are releasing more information about an officer-involved shooting which occurred Thursday evening.
The incident remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police.
After receiving a call at 6:22 p.m. Thursday about a man with a handgun, U. of I. Police officers Chuck Hoskins and A.J. Martin, along with Champaign County Sheriff’s Deputy Cory Christensen, responded to the area of John and Locust streets, Champaign. Upon searching the area, they came into contact with a man matching the description, U. of I. student Samuel Applebaum, 23, of Flossmoor, Illinois, who appeared to be brandishing a semiautomatic handgun.
Applebaum refused officers’ commands to drop the gun and pointed the gun at officers. The three officers fired, striking Applebaum in the leg. Police rendered medical assistance to Applebaum before emergency medical personnel arrived and transported Applebaum to Carle Foundation Hospital, where he remains as of Friday afternoon.
The gun recovered from the scene was determined later to be a Beretta air pellet pistol which very closely resembled a real handgun. This gun had no features that would indicate it was not a real gun unless closely inspected.
Although details of the incident remain very preliminary and Illinois State Police investigators are continuing to gather information, based on initial statements, U. of I. Police Chief Craig Stone and Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh expressed confidence on Friday that officers acted correctly and within their respective departments’ training and protocols.
The officers remain on administrative leave, which is standard protocol anytime an officer is involved in a shooting.
Further information will continue to be released as it becomes available.