Armed hospital patient asking police to shoot him is killed

The Associated Press

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AURORA, IL -- An armed hospital patient who asked officers to shoot him during a standoff was killed by police gunfire, authorities said Sunday.

Johnnie Russell, 58, of Aurora was found dead on the floor of his room at Provena Mercy Medical Center after a 4 1/2 hour standoff with police Saturday.

Russell was fatally wounded when he opened his hospital room door at about 1 p.m. and raised a loaded, two-shot Derringer handgun in a threatening manner toward police, police said. An autopsy performed Sunday showed he died when a single bullet from an officer's weapon struck him in the face, police said. Russell was also struck in the arm and side.

"At this time, the investigation indicates that the officer who fired his weapon was justified in his actions," police said in a written statement.

Authorities have not said what may have sparked the standoff. Police said an officer at the hospital found Russell in his acute-care room with a handgun, cleared the floor and called for backup. Russell later agreed to release a 71-year-old patient who also was in the room, police said.

Officers reported hearing Russell say he wanted police to shoot him, and authorities said he threatened to harm himself and police.

The police officer, a 12-year veteran of the force, has been reassigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of department's investigation.

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