A Joliet police officer shot a man who fled a Wednesday night traffic stop on Linden Avenue while armed with a handgun, police said.
Multiple shots were fired by police and the 36-year-old man was struck three times, according to a statement released Thursday afternoon by Romeoville Police Chief Ken Kroll, who is also the spokesman for the Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force.
The task force was called in to investigate the shooting, Kroll said.
The wounded man was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over shortly after 11 p.m. on Linden between Gardner and Sherman streets, according to a statement released Thursday morning by the Joliet Police Department.
After the traffic stop, the man “fled from the vehicle while armed with a handgun,” police said.
An officer caught up to the fleeing man, who “refused multiple commands regarding the handgun,” according to the police statement.
“The Officer then discharged his duty weapon, striking the suspect,” police said. “The suspect continued to flee after being struck by gunfire and was located nearby, hiding from Officers.”
“Our preliminary investigation did recover a handgun from the offender,” Kroll said.
The officers rendered medical assistance and the wounded man was transported to an area hospital, according to police.
“The offender is hospitalized and expected to recover,” Kroll said.
Wednesday night’s police shooting was Will County’s third this year.
The previous two both occurred the night of March 14.
In the first of the two March 14 incidents, a Crest Hill police sergeant shot and killed Matthew Parks, 30, after Parks slashed an officer’s femoral artery, task force officials said.
The officer and sergeant had responded to a report of a domestic battery at an apartment on Pioneer Road near Bicentennial Drive prior to the attack and the shooting, according to the task force.
Less than five hours later, a Shorewood police officer shot and killed Jose DeJesus-Hernandez, 40, of Oswego after DeJesus-Hernandez brandished a firearm and fired once from his vehicle outside a La Quinta Inn & Suites, the task force said.
The Wednesday night police shooting was the 17th the task force has tabbed to investigate since 2013, according to data provided by task force Executive Director Dan Jungles, who is also a deputy chief for the Will County Sheriff’s Office.
Last year, the task force investigated four police shootings, the most in a single year since 2013.
In 2021, Cordairel Whitmore, 30, and William Jenkins, 38, were wounded by Joliet police officers in separate incidents. In the other two cases, Will County deputies shot and killed Jabbar Muhammad, 21, who fatally stabbed his grandfather, and Alexander Wheeler, 21, who shot his father in the face, police said. Wheeler’s father survived the shooting.
The task force, created in 2009, typically investigates police shootings in accordance with a state law that requires outside investigations into police-related deaths. The task force is composed of officers from departments across Will and Grundy counties.