Identities Of Officers Involved In September Fatal Shooting Released

Alpha Media/Ryan Piers

The Peoria Police Department has released the names of the officers involved in the police involved fatal shooting Eddie Russell Jr., 25, of Peoria.

The police department says it was authorized by the Peoria County State’s Attorney’s Office to release the names of:

Sergeant Matthew Lane
Officer Sean Johnston
Officer Christopher Heaton
Officer Tyler Hodges
Officer Jason Leigh
Officer Ian McDowell

No other information concerning the officers was released. The Illinois State Police continues to investigate the incident.

Russell was shot and killed by police at the conclusion of a standoff in the 2800 block of West Sheffield. Russell hid out in the residence after allegedly robbing First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust on North Sterling Ave.

Police say Russell left the home with a gun in hand during the standoff. Police Chief Jerry Mitchell had said Russell began to raise the weapon after stepping outside, moving “aggressively” towards the officers.

That’s when each officer opened fire on Russell. An ambulance was called to the home, but Mitchell said Russell died on scene.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave since the incident.

An internet search conducted by 1470 and 100.3 WMBD revealed some information concerning the officers.

The Journal Star reported Lane attended a Peoria vigil to promote discussion between police and the public following multiple officer involved shootings across the country in 2016.

The Journal Star, in 2008, reported Johnston was one of two officers involved in the fatal shooting of a South Peoria man. Then-Peoria County State’s Attorney Kevin Lyons ruled the officers were justified in their actions.

Facebook posts indicated Johnston earned a statewide Officer of the Year award in 2016, while Leigh was 2016 Peoria Police Officer of the Year.

The agenda item for a Peoria City Council meeting in January, 2016 listed McDowell was one of five officers included in a lawsuit against the police department alleging an illegal search of a residence and confiscation of a cell phone at 1205 N.E. Glendale Ave.

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