News - Joliet and Will County

State’s attorney: Joliet police officer’s shooting in hostage situation justified

The aftermath of an early Monday morning what police said was a hostage situation on Justice Lake Drive in Joliet that left one man dead and three officers injured.

A Joliet police officer’s shooting of a man who killed his former girlfriend during a hostage situation was deemed justified by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.

State’s Attorney James Glasgow sent a letter to Joliet Police Chief Al Roechner on Tuesday about his office’s review of the May 27 incident where Nakia Smith, 44, shot and killed Kimiki Truss, 33. Joliet Police Officer Ryan Killian wounded Smith with two gunshots, according to Glasgow.

Glasgow said Killian’s “selfless dedication to duty was on full display as he heroically did everything humanly possible” to save Truss’ life.

“Killian’s heroism that evening to protect innocent people from this madman is to be celebrated and admired,” Glasgow said.

Killian’s use of deadly force in the incident was investigated by the Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force.

Glasgow's letter outlined the evidence from the task force, which showed the police were called to 1211 Justice Lake Drive to check on Truss' welfare. Killian and his partner, Joliet Police Officer James Lukaszek, were the first officers to arrive, he said.

When the officers heard a man and woman fighting in the home, Lukaszek said he planned to kick in the door, Glasgow said. Before he did so, both officers heard a “loud explosion” from inside the home “with such a force that it felt as if the ground shook,” he said.

The officers went into the home and “were immediately confronted with intense flames” throughout the home, Glasgow said. Killian heard a gunshot, saw a muzzle flash and then saw his partner “jumping up and down screaming and swearing” before losing sight of him, he said.

Killian saw Truss running behind the residence toward the residence next door and Smith chasing after her while armed with a handgun, Glasgow said. Killian fired his gun at Smith, fearing Smith would kill her, he said.

Killian next saw Truss lying on the ground with Smith on top of her and holding a gun in his right hand that was across her chest and pointed at the Killian, Glasgow said. Killian heard a gunshot, believed he was under fire from Smith and returned fire “not knowing if he was struck,” he said.

Killian fired at Smith a third time and other officers were able to move closer to Smith, remove the gun from his hand and attempted life-saving efforts on Truss, Glasgow said.

He said Truss suffered a gunshot wound to the head from Smith’s gun and Smith himself suffered three gunshot wounds. The first two shots were from Killian and the third from Smith shooting himself in the back of the head, Glasgow said.

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver covers crime and courts for The Herald-News