Police: Hatchet-wielding man charges officer, is fatally shot

The officer was conducting a traffic stop when a second car pulled up and a man with a hatchet jumped out, police said

By Suzanne Baker
Naperville Sun, Ill.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — A veteran Naperville police officer fatally shot a man Friday morning who came at him with a hatchet during what officials described as a routine traffic stop on the city's north side.

The officer had pulled a car over about 11 a.m. in an office park near Bond Street and McDowell Road when a second vehicle pulled up in the same area, a Naperville Police Department news release said. A man in his 20s emerged from the vehicle and charged at the officer with an axe.

In response, the 22-year police veteran pulled his gun and shot him.

The man was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. His identity is being withheld pending notification of family.

Both the traffic stop and shooting were captured on video from a new body-worn camera issued to Naperville officers in the past several weeks. A photo taken from the video was released by the police department.

The officer involved in the shooting was not injured and has not been identified. It's not known if he remains on active duty.

No information was released on whether the man who was shot knew the parties involved in the traffic stop or what might have provoked the attempted attack.

The DuPage County Metropolitan Emergency Response and Investigative Team, known as MERIT, and the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office are conducting the independent investigation into the incident.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call Lt. Jeremy Thayer, commander of MERIT's public integrity team, at 630-434-5653.

Naperville Mayor Steven Chirico said police-involved fatal shootings are rare in Naperville — it's only the third case in the department's history — and the photo released by the police proves the importance of the new body-worn cameras.

"To have the body cams on for what, two weeks now or so, is just unbelievable," Chirico said. "This is exactly what we were referring to when we said that this protects everybody, both citizens and the police, against bad actors. This is just an example of how it came into play. It's incredible."

The last fatal police shooting in Naperville occurred March 22, 2011, when William C. Ladew, a 47-year-old ex-convict from Aurora, was killed after he came at police with a butcher knife while at an independent living facility on West Ogden Avenue.

A formal police investigation concluded Sgt. Steven Schindlbeck and Officer John Reed were justified when they shot Ladew six times.

The city first fatal police shooting was on Jan. 23, 2002, and also involved Schindlbeck, who killed David B. Kasmar outside his home on Parkfield Court in the Spring Brook Estates/West Wind Estates neighborhood.

Police were told an intoxicated Kasmar, 46, was threatening his family with a knife. Kasmar later shouted at police that he was armed and had explosives in his basement. As three officers were inside the house talking to Kasmar, he ran from them and out into the front yard.

When he fired a .357-caliber Magnum at Schindlbeck, who was standing about 15 feet away, Schindlbeck returned fire and hit Kasmar in the abdomen. Investigators concluded Schindlbeck "was factually and legally justified in the use of deadly force."

On Jan. 23, 2019, Naperville Officer Jordan Koziel shot his weapon seven times striking Zachery Kelley, of Naperville, once in his right shoulder and once in his left knee after Kelley pointed his weapon in the direction of police in a parking lot outside on West Ogden Avenue.

Kelley survived and was found guilty of aggravated assault to a police officer.

The DuPage County State's Attorney's Office found that Koziel had acted appropriately.

(c)2022 the Naperville Sun (Naperville, Ill.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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