ROBBINS, Illinois — A suburban Chicago police officer responding to a shooting at a bar killed a security guard who was just “doing his job,” according to an attorney for the victim’s family.
Several law enforcement agencies responded to the shooting around 4 a.m. Sunday at Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Robbins, about 20 miles south of Chicago, Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sophia Ansari told CNN. Four people were injured in that shooting, including an alleged gunman, Ansari said.
A police officer from Midlothian, another Chicago suburb, fatally shot Jemel Roberson, a 26-year-old security guard working at the bar, Ansari said.
The Midlothian officer shot Roberson outside of the bar after Roberson had apprehended one of the alleged shooters, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in a federal court. The fatal shooting was “excessive and unreasonable,” and Roberson’s civil rights were also violated, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit filed by Roberson’s mother lists the village of Midlothian and the unnamed Midlothian officer as defendants. The suit seeks damages of more than $1 million.
“Jemel was trying to save people’s lives. He was working security because a shooting had just taken place in the establishment,” Chicago attorney Gregory Kulis told CNN affiliate WLS. “So, he was doing his job and holding on to somebody until … police arrived.”
Kulis said: “And a police officer, our feeling is, did not make the proper assessment and fired and killed Jemel.”
Midlothian police could not be reached late Monday.
In a statement, Midlothian police confirmed that two of its officers responded and one opened fire, according to CNN affiliate WGN.
“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,” Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney said in the statement.
The department did not name the officer or the victim.
The officer involved in the shooting is a four-year veteran of the department, WLS said, citing Delaney.
Witnesses said security had asked several drunk men to leave the bar, and at least one person returned to the bar and opened fire, WGN reported. A bartender was among the victims of that shooting, according to the lawsuit.
After the shooting, Roberson “had somebody on the ground … with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,'” Adam Harris, a witness, told WGN.
“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.”
The suspected gunman in the initial incident is being treated at a local hospital and has not been charged, according to Ansari.
Roberson served as a musician at several churches and was preparing to try to embark on a career as a police officer, according to WGN.
“The very people that he wanted to be family with took his life,” said Pastor Patricia Hill of Purposed Church.
Another pastor, Walter Turner, said Roberson’s family members are “just distraught.” “They are hurt, trying to find out answers, trying to figure out why did this have to happen,” Turner told the station.
A vigil took place outside of Manny’s Blue Room Lounge on Monday night, WGN reported.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the initial shooting; the State Police are investigating the police-involved shooting, according to Ansari.