A security guard was fatally shot by a police officer while trying to defuse a situation at his workplace where a gun fight had broke out.
Officers from Midlothian Police Department were responding to reports of shots fired just after 4am when they arrived at the bar, but Jemel was working security at the time and had already apprehended the aggressor.
Despite shouts from witnesses explaining he had the situation under control, Jemel Roberson, 26, was reportedly shot and killed in the early hours of the morning on Sunday November 11.
According to Fox32, the security guard was restraining a man responsible for shooting four other people at Manny’s Blue Room in Chicago and was holding him down on the floor. He was wearing a hat with ‘security’ emblazoned across the front, an attorney for Jemel’s family said yesterday (November 12) after filing a federal lawsuit.
The 26-year-old was waiting for the police to arrive, witnesses say, all the time holding the man on the ground with his gun pointed at his back, which he was licensed to carry as part of his job.
However, when police arrived at the scene they are said to have ignored people’s shouts that Jemel was a security guard diffusing the situation and shot him dead, an attorney for Roberson’s family said on Monday.
Witness Adam Harris told Fox32:
Everybody is screaming out, ‘He’s a security guard.’ Just waiting on the police to get there. I guess when the police got there, they probably thought he was one of the bad guys, cause he had his gun on the guy and they shot him.
Jemel, a father to a nine-month-old boy, was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to a hospital after the shooting on Sunday morning.
The security guard, who was black, was the only fatality – four other people were injured but their gunshot wounds were not considered life-threatening, Cook County sheriff’s spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.
No details have been released about the officer in relation to the alleged incident.
The Chicago Sun-Times states that, according to the medical examiner’s office, an autopsy revealed Jemel died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide.
It was not immediately clear how the other four people had gotten their injuries, but at least one of the wounded was believed to be a shooter during the initial incident, Ansari said.
Midlothian police have since told the Chicago Sun-Times that Illinois State Police are looking into the death of the security guard.
A spokesperson said:
It is the policy of the Midlothian Police Department to utilise the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force for any officer-involved shootings so we can ensure transparency and maintain public trust.
In a heartbreaking twist, the victim had apparently aspired to be a police officer, with his pastor Patricia Hill telling WGN-TV that ‘the very people that he wanted to be family with took his life.’
Jemel graduated from Lane Tech College Prep High School in 2010 and played on the school’s basketball team, according to a post from the team’s Twitter account.
It is with great sadness that we inform you of the tragic passing of 2010 Lane Tech graduate and Lane Tech Basketball alumn, Jemel Roberson. We pass along our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Jemel. Jemel had a big smile and a bigger heart. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/gpdrI6qQtc
— Lane Tech Basketball (@LaneTechHoops) November 12, 2018
They wrote, alongside two pictures of the 26-year-old:
We pass along our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Jemel. Jemel had a big smile and a bigger heart. You will be missed.
You can donate to Jemel’s burial GoFundMe here.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).