UPDATE (4:06 p.m.) — Peoria Police Chief Eric P. Echevarria released a statement after the shooting death of Samuel Vincent Richmond by police was deemed legally justified by the Peoria County State’s Attorney.
We appreciate the thorough independent investigation conducted by the Illinois State Police and the Peoria County State’s Attorney into an officer-involved shooting on October 3rd of last year. The investigation concluded that our officers’ conduct was “legally justified, reasonable, and necessary to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Illinois and themselves from death or great bodily harm.” Therefore, the officers will return to full duty. The next step will be an internal review of the event by our Office of Professional Standards.Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria
PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The death of a Peoria man at the hands of police has been deemed legally justified by the Peoria County State’s Attorney, the office announced Friday.
59-year-old Samuel Vincent Richmond, also known as the Meatman, was shot multiple times and died near Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Oct. 3, 2022. Peoria police called the incident life-threatening and four separate officers discharged their firearms.
Peoria County State’s Attorney Jodi Hoos has investigated the evidence, facts, and relevant laws before releasing a statement on Feb. 10.
As tragic and difficult as Mr. Richmond’s untimely death may be, it appears that Mr. Richmond, although most likely not wanting to hurt anyone other than himself, acted in a manner that left officers with no choice but to use deadly force, often referred to as ‘suicide by police,’” wrote Hoos. “He made multiple comments about suicide and left a handwritten note that read “dear Lord… thank you for finally allowing me to rest.. I’m so very tired… I go now to rest at peace…”
Body camera footage released by PPD in December shows that Richmond had a gun when approached by police, pointed it at the officers, and refused to drop the weapon when directed to do so.
The officers invovled–Candice Fillpot, Christopher Heaton, Danny Marx, and Andrew Fuller–have been on paid leave.
Under Illinois law, Hoos’ office stated, a peace officer is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm when he “reasonably believes, based on the totality of the circumstances, that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another.” 720 ILCS 5/7-5(a).
“Upon review of the facts, it is determined that the course of conduct engaged in by the officers that resulted in the death of Samuel Vincent Richmond was legally justified, reasonable and necessary to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Illinois and themselves from death or great bodily harm,” Hoos concluded.
A more detailed report of the investigation will be available on the Peoria County State’s Attorney website next week.