Seattle
Fotolia

TheGrio has launched a special series called #BlackonBlue to examine the relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans. Our reporters and videographers will investigate police brutality and corruption while also exploring local and national efforts to improve policing in our communities. Join the conversation, or share your own story, using the hashtag #BlackonBlue.

You hear the refrain all the time by Republicans and NRA activists following a mass shooting or terrorist attack.

“A good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun!”

Unfortunately for 26-year-old Jemel Roberson, he was that good guy and it didn’t prevent him from being killed by a police officer.

Roberson, a bouncer at a nightclub in Robbins, Ill. – just south of Chicago – was fatally shot by a Midlothian Police Officer early Sunday morning following a fight that spilled into the streets.

According to WGN, around 4 a.m., police responded to a call about several shots fired inside and outside Manny’s Blue Room. Midlothian police said one of their officers, who was called to assist Robbins police, killed Roberson after entering the bar and seeing him holding a gun.

After security asked a group of intoxicated men to leave the club, witnesses said someone came back with a gun and opened fire. Security returned fire, and according to witnesses, Roberson – an armed and licensed security guard – caught one of the men outside and held him for police.

Then the police arrived…

And witnesses said, an officer responding to the scene fired at Roberson — killing him.

Authorities released few details Sunday night. Four other people, including the suspected shooter, sustained non-life threatening injuries.

A spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Roberson had a valid FOID card, but did not have a concealed-carry license.

“Upon arrival officers learned there were several gunshot victims inside the bar,” Midlothian Police Chief Dan Delaney said. “A Midlothian Officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an Officer involved shooting. The subject the Officer shot was later pronounced deceased at an area hospital.”

Roberson’s death has sent shock waves through South Chicago. Along with being security, he was an organist at New Spiritual Light Baptist Church in Chicago.

“How in the world does the security guard get shot by police?” the church’s pastor, Walter Turner, said to WGN. “A young man that was literally doing his job and now he’s gone.”

Roberson’s death also sparked outrage across social media. Activist Shaun King immediately jumped on it.

Despite the fact that, in most cases, introducing more guns to a situation only makes things more dangerous – and that there have been cases of unarmed people stopping mass shootings – too often the narrative remains the same for Black people with guns.

Others on Twitter were asking the same thing:

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is handling the criminal investigation of the original shooting, while the State Police Public Integrity Task Force is investigating the police-involved shooting.