ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley has found Sergeant Joseph Broullard and Deputy Gabriel Eiten were justified in shooting and killing Faustin Guetigo on April 10th, 2021.
Hanley’s announcement arrived following an analysis of the incident by the Winnebago Boone County Police Task Force.
On April 10th, investigators say the wife of Faustin Guetigo called the police and told officers he hit her during a fight over allowing her special needs son, fathered by another man, to live with the couple and their common son.
A deputy reported the woman had a bloody lip when he met her at a Casey’s General Store on Columbia Parkway, where the woman went to call police because Guetigo had reportedly taken her phone, according to official documents.
Officers searched for Guetigo but did not find him, police said. Hours later, another call prompted deputies to return to the house, in the 2100 block of Belwort. Investigators reported seeing Guetigo outside of the home and directed him to put his hands behind his back.
When the deputy tried to place him in custody, he resisted, Hanley said. Video from the officer’s body camera also showed Guetigo’s wife tried to intervene. The deputy followed Guetigo to the backyard where he continued to refuse to place his hands behind his back to be placed in custody, the video showed. After a brief struggle, Guetigo escaped the deputy and ran back inside.
According to a witness, and friend of Guetigo’s, Guetigo said he was “not going to leave his house and if the police need to kill him they were just going to have to kill him inside his house.”
The deputy’s bodycam video showed the wife give deputies her house keys and permission to enter. Two deputies entered the house using the key, one holding a taser and the other with a firearm. The pair located Guetigo in the basement holding a metal pipe, which Broward reported he believed to be “a bat, pipe or sword machete.”
The officers say they asked him to drop the pipe at least three times.
Video shows deputies shout at Guetigo to show them his hands and to drop the object before he charged them up the stairs, and the officers responded by firing several times.
After officers fired several shots, Guetigo was still able to hit Broullard with the pipe with enough force to knock him unconscious.
“I have no memory of what happened after going unconscious to anything done to include gunfire or actions taken by other deputies,” Broullard wrote in his statement. “I have limited memory of what occurs after being struck and regaining some consciousness. I remember being assisted into a car and feeling warm blood pouring down my head then begin taken to a hospital.”
A total of 11 shots were fired. Deputies then placed Guetigo in handcuffs and tried to provide medical assistance.
Guetigo died at the hospital from between 7 and 8 gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen. Sgt. Broullard was treated and released.
Hanley announced today that no criminal charges have been filed against either officer. “Based upon the totality of the circumstances, Sgt. Broullard’s belief that shooting Guetigo was necessary to protect himself and other deputies from great bodily harm was reasonable,” he wrote in his official decision.
Both cleared deputies will be back on active duty tomorrow, although an investigation is still underway to determine if they violated any department policies in the events leading up to the shooting, a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson said.