ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Police Officer who shot murder suspect Tyris Jones in October will not face charges, following an investigation by the Boone-Winnebago County Integrity Task Force.
Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said she found the officer’s use of deadly force was legally justified, and her office would not pursue charges.
Hite Ross cited U.S. Supreme Court rulings which found the use of deadly force by police officers when they feel threatened, or a suspect is presumed to be a danger to them.
“The officer reasonably believed Tyris Jones posed a threat to the community, due to three outstanding felony warrants against him,” Hite Ross said. “I believe, from his vantage point, he believed Mr. Jones had a weapon.”
Hite Ross said police officers often need to make split-second, life-or-death decisions.
“I appreciate the Winnebago Boone County Integrity Task Force conducting a thorough
investigation into the officer-involved shooting in October,” said Chief of Police Dan
O’Shea. “Now that the State’s Attorney’s Office has rendered the decision advising the
officer’s actions were lawful, we will begin our internal administrative review of the
On October 2nd, officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Jones, but instead he led them on a chase for nearly 9 minutes until Jones crashed the vehicle he was driving into another car at the intersection of Harrison and North Main, police said.
After Jones, 21, crashed his vehicle, police said that he ran to another nearby vehicle for an attempted hijacking when Rockford Police Officer Dominick McNiece shot him.
Officials said that McNiece fired his gun five times, striking Jones three times: one in the right arm and twice in the lower back. Jones survived the shooting.
At the time of the incident, police said Jones was believed to have had a gun, but Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said no weapon was recovered at the scene.
Jones faces First Degree Murder charges for the slaying of 25-year-old Demalavee Macklin in the 1020 block of Furman Street on September 26th. Macklin was found dead in a vehicle which had been struck multiple times by gunfire. A second victim in the rear of the vehicle was not injured.
A warrant is currently issued for Jones’ arrest for the First Degree Murder charge, and Hite Ross said he now faces an additional charge of Attempted Vehicular Hijacking.
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office announced charges against Jones on November 6th after the Illinois Crime Lab was allegedly able to link him to a weapon discovered in September.
Jones’ family has asked for police video in the shooting to be released. Hite Ross indicated that evidence in the case will be shared with the family’s attorney.
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