Police report unveils new details about shooting and stabbing involving an East Peoria officer

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EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A police report reveals new information about a shooting and stabbing involving an East Peoria police officer, that happened early Tuesday morning.

An account from a deputy with the Tazewell County Sheriff’s office, who assisted on the scene, shows that 19-year-old Joshua Crites was with a 16-year-old girl at the time of his death on Tuesday.

Crites allegedly stabbed an officer multiple times in a CVS parking lot on Farmdale Road and Washington Street in East Peoria. This resulted in an officer shooting and killing him.

According to documents obtained via FOIA, a Tazewell County deputy indicates that this situation started with a domestic disturbance at a home on Briargate Road in Washington.

The incident reports that around midnight Tuesday, the deputy went to assist an East Peoria police officer that pulled over a vehicle that left the domestic scene on Briargate Road. The incident report states, the people inside the vehicle were identified as Crites and the 16-year old girl who was supposedly his girlfriend.

Documents reveal while the deputy headed towards the CVS where the traffic stop happened, an East Peoria officer reportedly stated through dispatch that they were stabbed and later said “shots fired”.

On scene, the deputy says they noticed a body on the ground and the officer that had been stabbed was sitting on a curb with blood coming from their face and neck.

While two additional officers tended to the officer that was stabbed, the report reveals a girl was pacing back and forth in front of the suspect’s vehicle. The deputy alleges he drew his weapon and as he got closer to the girl he could tell she was a teenager and was compliant.

The deputy then states he allegedly put away his weapon and handcuffed her.

At the home in Washington where the initial domestic disturbance happened, another deputy states he saw bloody glove near the front door and blood stains on the main and screen door.

After knocking on the door of the home, an elderly man and a woman reportedly opened the door and later identified themselves as the parents of the female who owned the residence.

The report alleges the two individuals said their granddaughter called them stating their mother was stabbed.

After Illinois State Police completes their report on the shooting and stabbing, Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz will determine if police deadly force was justified. While not specifically commenting on Tuesday’s incident, Umholtz shared with WMBD how these cases are handled.

“I put both feet in the shoes of the police officer, consider his training, consider the environment, the circumstances, the facts, and also consider the speed of the incident, ” he said.

The state’s attorney said he has handled around 12 shootings involving officers in his career and they have overwhelmingly been ruled in the officer’s favor.

“I can tell you without exception in each and every case that I’ve reviewed not only was it justified, it was absolutely necessary,” Umholtz said.

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