A 34-year-old Chicago man suffered what police described as non-life-threatening injuries after being shot in the hip by a Forest Park police officer following an hour-long manhunt along the Des Plaines River south of Roosevelt Road on the afternoon of Oct. 20.
The suspect, Micah Delrosario, was accused of shoplifting video games from Walmart, 1300 Desplaines Ave. After Delrosario was released back into police custody on Oct. 22, he was charged with one count of retail theft.
Police Chief Tom Aftanas said the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office continues its investigation and may file additional charges against Delrosario, who is being held on $75,000 bond at Cook County Jail. His next court date is Oct. 27 at Maybrook.
Delrosario reportedly was armed with a knife, which Illinois State Police recovered at the scene, Aftanas said.
Asked if the Delrosario had threatened an officer with the knife or charged at an officer, Aftanas said he did not have details of the event.
“We don’t know at this point what led up to the shooting,” he said.
In the meantime, according to Aftanas, the police officer who shot the suspect is on administrative leave until the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit, which has been requested to investigate the police-involved shooting, can interview him. It’s not clear when that interview will take place.
The state police investigation could take months to complete, said Master Sgt. Matt Boerwinkle, public information officer for the Illinois State Police. Once the investigation is complete, the findings will be turned over to Forest Park police and to the Cook County State’s Attorney for prosecutorial review, Boerwinkle said.
Aftanas said there will also be an internal departmental investigation to determine whether the officer violated any department policies by discharging his weapon.
Police initially responded to the cemetery area just west of Desplaines Avenue after being called by a Walmart loss prevention agent about a shoplifting incident. According to Aftanas, officers located Delrosario running westbound in the cemetery toward the river.
Instead of surrendering when he got to the river, Delrosario reportedly jumped in and swam to the other side. More officers were called to scour the area west of the river to cut off his escape, but after about an hour, police assumed Delrosario had escaped the perimeter they’d established.
Officers from Forest Park, the Cook County Forest Preserve District, North Riverside and Riverside responded to the incident.
Just as they were preparing to give up the search about 3:30 p.m., two police officers closer to Cermak Road reported locating Delrosario on the west side of the river a couple of hundred yards north of Cermak Road.
The suspect ran east toward the river, Aftanas said, and an officer reported observing a knife in one of the suspect’s hands. The suspect reportedly ran back into the river and, according to Aftanas, was seen holding the knife to his own throat.
Aftanas said a review of the police radio traffic indicated the man was preparing to surrender. “Then there was a call of shots fired,” he said.
Delrosario was transported to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment.