Man wearing body armor fatally shot by officers near Zion school, police say

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A man was fatally shot by Zion police as officers were investigating reports of a suspicious person taking photos of schools. (WLS)

A man was fatally shot by Zion police Wednesday morning during a foot chase as officers were investigating reports of a suspicious person taking photos of schools.

According to the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, the 38-year-old man was wearing a tactical-style vest with homemade metal plates inside and carrying a airsoft gun, which they had initially thought was a real gun.

The shooting occurred at about 8:15 a.m. on Ezekiel Avenue, between 20th and 21st streets in north suburban Zion. Shortly before, Zion police received a 911 call about the man taking photos of the school. Police spotted the man and began to chase him, police said.

Police said the man was shot during a struggle between the offender and officers.

Zion resident Dick Bell said he looked out his window and saw scores of police officers and a man on the ground. His wife saw the severity of the situation.

"It look like she saw them doing chest compressions or something," she said.

He was taken to Vista East Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name has not yet been released.

Zion police contacted the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, which is charged with investigating police involved shootings in the county, said Det. Christopher Covelli, of the task force. They will turn over their findings to the Lake County state's attorney's office.

Covelli said an autopsy will be completed 9 a.m. Thursday. Officials were searching the victim's home Wednesday afternoon.

Zion Police Chief Steve Dumyahn said two officers were involved and both are on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

Officials said they do not believe other suspects are involved.

During the incident, local schools were under a soft lockdown which has since been lifted.

An earlier statement on the school district's website read: "Due to police activity in the area all schools within Zion Elementary District 6 has been placed on soft lockdown per the request of the Zion Police department. Our buildings will remain secured until further notice from the Zion Police Department."

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