BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington Police Detective Shawn Campbell sat quietly in his car Wednesday morning, overlooking a shooting scene at 8 Melrose Court.
Just seven hours earlier, police were called to that address because of a domestic disturbance. Shortly after that, a man displayed a gun and a Bloomington police officer shot and killed him.
Campbell has investigated hundreds of cases in his career with the Bloomington Police Department, but he and his co-workers had to sit this one out. In cases where a municipal or county police officer fires a weapon, the Illinois State Police automatically step in to handle the case from beginning to end.
“There are a lot of different reasons for that, but most importantly, it is so the department and the public know that this case was handled from an objective standpoint,” said ISP Zone 5 commander Tad Williams. “Everyone needs to know that everything was handled correctly, that nothing was hidden, and every aspect of the incident was investigated.”
Williams said state police detectives and crime scene investigators interview all witnesses, review autopsies and file reports in all such incidents.
“We handle about six to 12 of these incidents just in our zone alone, each year,” he said. “So, we have experience in doing this.
“Bloomington is perfectly capable of handling an investigation like this, but many of the smaller departments don’t have many incidents like this and they may not have the experience,” he added. “They may be too close to the people involved as well and the public wants to know that it was handled by an independent party because transparency is very important in these cases.”
Williams said such cases often take weeks before the investigation is complete.
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