Chief: 2 officers wounded, suspect dead in Illinois shooting

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Two police officers conducting a traffic stop in a central Illinois city were shot and wounded early Wednesday by a motorist who died after officers returned fire, police said.

The officers stopped a vehicle about 12:30 a.m. in Decatur and “based on information known to the officers prior to the stop” they ordered its driver to show his hands, but he failed to comply, Decatur Police Chief Shane Brandel said in a statement.

One of officers spotted what they believed to be a handgun in the vehicle and the officers tried to remove the driver, who fired multiple rounds at them from close range using a handgun, Brandel said.

Officers returned fire and the driver was struck multiple times. He was pronounced dead at a Decatur hospital, the chief said.

The Macon County Coroner identified the motorist as Jamontey O. Neal, 32, of Decatur.

Brandel said one Decatur officer was hit multiple times and a second Decatur officer was hit once in the exchange of gunfire. One officer was hospitalized in stable condition and the other was in serious but stable condition and has undergone surgery for his wounds, Brandel said.

Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe said the officers’ injuries are serious, but both are expected to recover, the (Decatur) Herald & Review reported.

Three Decatur officers and one deputy from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office discharged their weapons during the exchange of gunfire, Brandel said.

He said Illinois State Police will conduct an investigation into the shooting, which is standard procedure in Illinois following such shootings. Decatur is about 120 miles (190 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

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