A Rockford Police officer uses deadly force on a suspect.
It happened around 1:27 a.m. Saturday near the 300 block of North Longwood Street. That's where officers pulled over a vehicle they believe was connected to an earlier incident of shots fired near the State Street and Fairview Blvd intersection.
Inside the car was a female driver and two male passengers. Police can't release the details of what prompted the officer to use their weapon, but it did result in the death of one of the male passengers, 29-year-old Phillip Johnson Jr. of Rockford. The officer's name is not being released at this time.
A press conference was held about the incident late Saturday morning. Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson says it's a troubling situation for everyone involved.
"Most officers do not go through with deadly force incidents," said Epperson. "It traumatizes not only the affected officer, [but] the backup officers and the department as a whole. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer and his family, also to the decedent and their family, so there's both losses on both ends."
The Winnebago County Integrity Task Force is investigating whether the officer's use of deadly force was justified.
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