Man shot, wounded by Aurora police officer during mental health crisis: family

The man's family said he was suffering from mental health issues that were known to police.

ByStephanie Wade WLS logo
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Aurora police shooting under scrutiny by mental health advocates
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There are new details about what led up to a police shooting in Aurora that seriously wounded a man during a disturbance at his family's home.

AURORA, Ill. (WLS) -- There are new details about what led up to a police shooting in Aurora that seriously wounded a man during a disturbance at his family's home.

Mental health advocates arrived at Aurora Police Headquarters on Monday searching for more answers after a man who family members say was suffering from a mental health episode was shot by police Sunday morning.

"It saddens me," mental health advocate Patricia Forbes said. "It's very sad."

He's now clinging to life in the hospital with critical injuries.

"Even though the gentleman had some problems, no one wants to see their family member, or friend, or person that they know or person they don't know shot that many times," Forbes said.

It started with a 911 call, police say, made by a relative in this home on Colorado Avenue near Elmwood about another family member armed with knives.

"When officers arrived on the scene, they encountered the subject holding the knives in the doorway of the home, threatening to kill everyone," Aurora Police Chief Keith Cross said. "Officers made efforts to verbally de-escalate the situation."

Cross said "less lethal options" were used. Police said the confrontation then spilled into the garage area.

"The armed subject charged an Aurora police officer who, while retreating, was forced to discharge their firearm to protect themselves," Cross said.

The family of the person who was shot told us off-camera that he is 21 years old with mental health issues known to police.

Investigators confirmed officers did respond to the home multiple times before - in fact, as far back as 2017 - but wouldn't disclose the nature of those calls.

Despite that history, police say a mental health crisis responder was not on scene.

This comes after the I-Team spoke with Aurora PD in August about its newly-formed Crisis Intervention Unit, or CIU, consisting of specially trained police investigators and social workers to address the increasing number of mental health crisis calls.

But, those resources are not always available.

"We have to look at our resources to see if we could actually send someone, but that wasn't the call that came in," Cross said.

"I think this might be a wake-up call for the police department, again, to make sure that there is a specialist present," Forbes said.

The man's family said he was shot multiple times throughout his body, and is being sedated at the hospital.

The officer involved in the shooting was also transported to the hospital, per policy, but has since been released.

An independent agency is conducting an investigation and the Aurora Police Department has turned over its investigation to the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force.