UPDATE: Victim in officer-involved shooting shot in the chest
ROCKFORD (WREX) -
The Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force has identified a man that was shot and killed by Rockford Police. He is 41-year-old Mark T. Farrar.
According to Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz, the cause of death is a gunshot wound of the chest.
On Friday, Rockford Police received a call of a welfare check at 1806 16th Avenue. Police say family members indicated that Farrar was suicidal. Farrar lived at the residence.
"Mr. Farrar was standing in the doorway of the front porch of that house and began firing the rifle at the officers that were responding," said Commander Sam Thomas with the task force.
While officers were responding to Farrar's home, the situation escalated to the point that Farrar was firing rounds from a rifle inside the home, as well as outside the residence.
"Mr. Farrar was in possession of a AR-15 assault rifle, it's a semi-automatic assault rifle," Thomas said.
Officers approached the home and Farrar fired his rifle at police. Officers returned fire and at least one of the rounds fired by an officer struck Farrar.
He was transported to Swedish American Hospital where he was pronounced dead as a result of the injuries he suffered. It is unclear at this time where he was struck on his body.
No other injuries have been reported. The officer who struck Farrar is on paid leave. The Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force is investigating. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to contact a representative of the Winnebago-Boone Integrity Task Force (815) 987-7440, or (815) 239-1152. Detectives were still at the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Rockford late Friday evening investigating
The shooting took place near the intersection of 16th Avenue & 13th Street. Traffic had been blocked off one block each direction all night and likely will be until Saturday morning.
Investigators told 13 News on Friday a search warrant for the house at 1806 16th Avenue. On that property is where the incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Friday. This area is surrounded by homes and a park.
According to a Rockford Public Schools spokesperson, there were middle school students at the park on the tennis courts practicing nearby when the incident happened. They were evacuated back to Lincoln Middle School because of the shooting and police presence. RPS says they are safe and accounted for.
13 News spoke with neighbor Deborah Holland who's lived in the neighborhood for about a year and a half. She says she wasn't home when shots were fired, but she's heard of violence in this area in the past. Police patrol the area well, Holland believes. Despite what happened, she still feels safe though it is overwhelming to come home and see the scene.
"I've heard gunshots down there several times. Several times. I've heard gunshots up this way on 16th several times. I've heard them on 15th Avenue several times. I know police patrol this area pretty good, but to come home and look at all this, it's like 'Woah.'"