The story of Jemel Roberson, a security guard who was accidentally killed as he pinned an alleged gunman to the ground, has not only overwhelmed his family and friends but the Midlothian police Chief has spoken out about Roberson and the shocking tragedy committed by one of their own, CNN reports.
“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.
“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.”
The Midlothian police officer who fatally shot Roberson remains unnamed by authorities, but that has not stopped Roberson’s mother from suing him and the village of Midlothian. She is seeking upwards of $1 million.
Previously, the Midlothian Police Department acknowledged that two of its officers responded to a call about shots fired at the nightclub where Roberson worked and that one of those officers opened fire.
Adam Harris, a witness, told WGN, Roberson “had somebody on the ground … with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move.’
When an officer arrived, he said: “We all yelled. ‘He’s a security. He’s a security,’ and without … giving any thought, they shot him,” Harris told the station. “The vest said security as well … and they shot him in the side.”
“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,” read the statement from Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney.
Gregory Kulis, the Roberson family’s attorney told WLS that Roberson was a hero. “Jemel was trying to save people’s lives. He was working security because a shooting had just taken place in the establishment,” said Kulis. “So, he was doing his job and holding on to somebody until … police arrived. And a police officer, our feeling is, did not make the proper assessment and fired and killed Jemel.”
At least four people, including Roberson, were shot at the nightclub. The Illinois State Police are investigating Roberson’s shooting and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office is contributing to the overall criminal investigation. The bar where Roberson was shot is located in Robbins, IL, about 20 miles south of Chicago.
Roberson was father to a 9-month old and his girlfriend has a baby on the way.
Roberson’s family members are “just distraught,” said pastor, the Rev. Walter Turner.
“They are hurt, trying to find out answers, trying to figure out why did this have to happen,” Turner told WGN.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the cost of Roberson’s funeral.