“It is the determination of the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office that the actions of Officer Ben Schuster on April the 8th, 2017 were justified,” said Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato.
Bruscato and members of the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force say Officer Schuster’s actions in the April shooting were in self-defense.
“He took the actions that were necessary to not only protect his life but potentially the lives of other individuals,” Bruscato said
The incident occurred outside Dicks Sporting Goods in Rockford, where Officer Schuster was responding to a call. That’s when a customer alerted Schuster to Eboney Adams and said Adams had just stolen items from the store. He followed Adams to her car and asked her to get out, but she refused.
“At that time, Officer Schuster opened the car door, asked Eboney Adams to exit the vehicle, she failed to do so and continued to yell at the officer,” he added. Adams then put the car in reverse and hit Schuster with the open door. Witnesses say Adams continued driving backwards appearing to try and run over the officer.
“It was at this time that Officer Schuster drew his weapon and fired six shots,” Bruscato said. Adams was hit in the arm but continued driving and ended up on Trainer Road just blocks away. She was taken to the hospital along with Schuster. Bruscato says the incident could have been avoided if Adams simply complied with officer Schuster’s request.
“Cooperate with your police officers,” Bruscato said. “Recognize when they are making lawful requests of you that it is in your best interest,” he added. “It is in the best interest of the citizens that you do everything you can to comply with those lawful requests,” he said.
Adams has a number of charges including Aggravated Battery, Resisting a Peace Officer, and Retail Theft. She will be in court on August 21st.