For the second time in three years, the Illinois State Police are investigating an incident in which an armed man was shot by a Vermilion County sheriff’s deputy at a private residence at 2530 Georgetown Road.
The man, who was not identified, was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana on Tuesday afternoon following what was initially described as a standoff with police at the residence.
His condition wasn’t known Tuesday night.
Three years ago, in November 2013, it was Caleb Emory who was involved in an incident with deputies at the residence. On Tuesday, Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn declined to say whether this latest incident involved Emory, adding that it’s the Illinois State Police’s investigation now.
Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Hartshorn said deputies responded to the residence around 2:50 p.m. for a report of a domestic disturbance between a father and a son. The father reported that his son had threatened to set the house on fire, and had a gas can in one hand and a weapon in his other hand.
When deputies arrived, the father said the son was inside the house, trying to set the house on fire.
A few minutes later, Hartshorn said, the suspect appeared at the front of the house holding what appeared to be a handgun. The suspect asked the deputies on the scene if they were prepared to die and refused to drop the weapon.
Hartshorn said one deputy fired his weapon, striking the suspect, who retreated further into the residence. The suspect was later forced out of the house due to smoke from a fire that he ignited inside.
Brandon Wayne Bott and three of his employees at B&B Construction were nearby at Scoreboard Bar and Grill, at 2526 Georgetown Road, which Bott opened about 1 years ago. They said around 2:50 p.m., they watched a couple police cars drive by, followed by a number of other squad cars, turn at the former McMillan School and go down a private lane.
The lane leads to a handful of houses, including the ones police responded to, as well as the Sycamore Estates mobile home park.
Bott and his coworkers ran into the bar’s backyard and looked over a fence and saw the police cars converge in front of the large garage just west of the residence. Then they heard two gunshots followed by a pause and four more shots.
“There was another pause, then we heard more gunshots,” said Steve Hayden.
The men said a police officer they knew spotted them and told them to go back inside.
At 3:38 p.m., a Carle ambulance left the scene with its lights flashing.
The residence sits directly behind a former school in unincorporated Home Gardens, between Tilton and Belgium. The property includes a home and large pole barn garage.
When firefighters were called out, they were told not to go to the scene because of potential danger from an armed individual, so they parked their vehicles in the lot of the old school. At one point, Tilton firefighters were seen unrolling hose from a truck and carrying it toward the residence.
They left the scene around 4:30 p.m. However, sheriff’s investigators remained on the scene.
It’s not the first time Vermilion County sheriff’s deputies have been called to the Georgetown Road residence.
At 4:13 a.m. Nov. 21, 2013, deputies responded to a domestic disturbance that resulted in a deputy shooting then-20-year-old Emory, who lived there with relatives. He was hospitalized for several days with non-life-threatening injuries to his left jaw.
On his release from the hospital, Emory was arrested and charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, aggravated assault to a person 60 years old and one count of assault.
After an Illinois state police investigation, then-Vermilion County State’s Attorney Randy Brinegar said the deputy’s actions in shooting Emory were justified.
And just three weeks ago, after numerous continuances, Emory pleaded guilty in that case to one count of reckless discharge of a firearm and was sentenced to 30 months of probation.
READ THE FULL STORY IN TODAY’S NEWS-GAZETTE.