ROBBINS, Ill. — Witnesses said a Midlothian police officer responding to a shooting inside a south suburban bar shot at the wrong person early Sunday morning.
After security asked a group of drunken men to leave Manny’s Blue Room Bar around 4 a.m. Sunday, witnesses said someone came back with a gun and opened fire. Security returned fire, and according to witnesses, 26-year-old armed security guard Jemel Roberson apprehended one of the men involved outside.
“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,'” witness Adam Harris said.
Soon after, witnesses said, an officer responding to the scene fired at Roberson — killing him.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard,” Harris said. “And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”
Authorities were releasing few details Sunday night. Four other people, including the suspected shooter, sustained non-life threatening injuries.
A spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Roberson had a valid FOID card, but did not have a concealed-carry license.
In a statement, Midlothian police confirmed two officers from the department responded to the scene of the shooting and that one of them opened fire.
“A Midlothian officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an officer-involved shooting. The subject the officer shot was later pronounced deceased at an area hospital,” Chief Daniel Delaney of the Midlothian Police Department said in a statement.
Friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches, who had plans to become a police officer.
“Every artist he’s ever played for every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill of Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.
“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill of Purposed Church said.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is handling the criminal investigation of the original shooting, while the State Police Public Integrity Task Force is investigating the police-involved shooting.