Video shows dramatic struggle between Lakemoor cop, fugitive wanted for murder

LAKEMOOR, Ill. (WLS) -- Screams for help from a Lakemoor police officer were captured on dramatic video as she struggled with a man wanted for murder.

The Lake County State's Attorney released both dashcam and bodycam video Monday night from a shooting in July 2018 that involved a man wanted in Pennsylvania. The officer fought for survival after the fugitive pulled a gun, so quickly there was barely time to react.

The life-or-death struggle in the predawn darkness happened on July 26 on a quiet gravel path.

"I think she knew early on something wasn't quite right, but she was still being cordial with him trying to figure out what he was doing there," Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim said.

WATCH: Officer struggles with fugitive wanted for murder
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Very dramatic and disturbing video has been released of a police officer's struggle with a murder suspect in Lakemoor last year.

In the video, Lakemoor Officer Brianna Tedesco approaches an SUV with out-of-state plates. The driver, who is asleep, tells her his name is James Dunkin.

"I just have to make sure you don't have any warrants or anything, which I'm sure you don't," she tells him in the video.

But James Dunkin is in fact Kenneth Martell, wanted for murder in Pennsylvania. Tedesco writes down his plate number.

"They're not finding a DL, a driver's license record, for a James Dunkin. Do you have anything in the vehicle with your name on it?" she asks him.

Perhaps sensing he's been caught, Martell pulls his weapon on the officer. The struggle over the weapon lasts an agonizing 20 seconds. Martell also attempts to grab a second gun.

As Tedesco's backup arrives, an officer shoots Martell. He died at the scene.

WATCH: Lake County State's Attorney reacts to chilling encounter
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Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim called the chilling incident great police work.

The Lake County State's Attorney's office determined the police shooting was appropriate use of force. Nerheim called the chilling incident great police work.

"This case illustrates how tough a job law enforcement can be," Nerheim said.

As soon as the incident ended, Tedesco learned from a dispatcher that Martell was wanted for murder.

Police said a search of the nearby woods turned up several more weapons including rifles, shotguns and crossbows.
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