ROCKFORD, Ill. — Rockford police said officers fatally shot a 23-year-old Rockford man Monday inside a downtown church-run day care center.
Police and day care staff members gave conflicting accounts of the events leading up to the shooting of Mark Anthony Barmore.
Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson said the officers fired on Barmore after he fought with one of them for his service gun inside a classroom at the House of Grace Daycare and Preschool.
But Marissa Brown, 17, the daughter of day care operator Sheila Brown, denied there was a struggle over a gun. She said the officers shot Barmore multiple times after he emerged from a dark boiler room with his hands up.
"The officer shined his flashlight into the boiler room and told him to come out. He came out real slow with his hands up and his head down, and they shot him," Marissa Brown told the Rockford Register-Star.
Sheila Brown said the officers fired as many as eight rounds into Barmore.
The names of the officers were not released Monday night. Epperson said they have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
Epperson said the incident will go through an internal review and a criminal investigation, and will be taken before the Winnebago County grand jury for a ruling on whether the officers' use of deadly force was justified.
"There are multiple layers of review that this thing will go through," Epperson said.
According to Epperson, Barmore was wanted in two domestic disputes, one of which may have involved the use of a knife. The chief said the officers spotted him on a downtown street, but he fled on foot into Kingdom Authority International Ministries, the church which houses the day care center. The officers followed him in.
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House of Grace cares for 43 infants and 166 toddlers.