Officer down: Illinois officer – a young dad – shot to death while investigating report of stolen car

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Pontoon Beach, IL – A 14-year law enforcement veteran was shot to death while investigating a possible stolen car at a gas station. The Illinois State Police confirmed the tragic news surrounding Officer Tyler Timmins of the Pontoon Beach Police Department. He had only been with the department for 18 months.

According to reports, Timmins was checking into a car that was potentially stolen around 8 am at a Speedway gas station. A man opened fire on him, striking him at least once and leaving him him with life-threatening injuries. 

As reported by KSDK: 

“A fellow officer rushed Timmins to Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City. From there, he was airlifted to Saint Louis University Hospital in south St. Louis. Police department vehicles from several local agencies were seen parked outside the emergency departments at SLU and Gateway Regional Medical Center.”

Several hours later, Timmins succumbed to his wounds.

The alleged shooter was taken into custody. Details surrounding the suspect have not been disclosed at this time. He was sitting inside the vehicle Timmins was checking when he began shooting. A second person was also taken into custody at the scene.

A witness, who heard the shots but did not see what happened, assisted officers with getting Timmins into a squad car. 

“I grabbed him by the belt and got in the police car and started pulling him in the back seat so I could help them get him in the car,” Russell Morrow told local reporters. 

Timmins was 36-years old and leaves behind a wife and a daughter. 

The BackStoppers have stepped in to assist the family.  

“Our hearts are heavy today as we are faced with the loss of Officer Tyler Timmins. He was a hero who dedicated his life to serving and protecting our community. Officer Timmins will be honored and remembered and we will be there for his family for the long road ahead,” Chief Ron Battelle, BackStoppers Executive Director, said in a statement on their website. 

Departments from around the country have posted their tributes on social media. 

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends, & co-workers of Police Officer Tyler Timmins of the Pontoon Beach Police Department, who was shot & killed while investigating a stolen vehicle. He has served his community for 15 years. #FidelisAdMortem” -NYPD

Fidelis Ad Mortem is a Latin phrase meaning faithful unto death, and is the motto of the NYPD. 

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said: 

“On behalf of myself and the @Chicago_Police Department, we offer our prayers and condolences to the Pontoon Beach Police Department, family, and loved ones of Officer Tyler Timmins. Officer Timmins made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and will #NeverBeForgotten.”

The @JolietPolice send our condolences to the family, friends & coworkers of Pontoon Beach, IL Police Officer Tyler Timmins. Ofc Timmins was shot and killed in the line of duty yesterday while investigating a stolen vehicle. Rest in peace Ofc Timmins.

A GoFundMe page has been set up as well.  They have reached their initial goal of $10,000 and are moving towards their second funding goal to assist his family. 

On behalf of everyone here at Law Enforcement Today, our thoughts an prayers are with the family of Officer Timmins, both blood and blue. 

Pontoon Beach Police Officer Tyler Timmins, End of Watch; 10/26/2021.

LET will continue to follow this story and will provide updates surrounding the suspect as they become available. 

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Officer down: Altercation with criminal teenager leads to cop being executed in cold blood

 

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

HOLLYWOOD, FL – Authorities say that a 28-year-old Hollywood Police officer was fatally shot after getting into an altercation with an 18-year-old suspect reportedly checking vehicle doors in a residential neighborhood.

The incident occurred on October 17th at approximately 10:30 p.m. within the 4000th block of North Hills Drive, according to Hollywood Police Chief Chris O’Brien.

Residents in the neighborhood called police after noticing a man on a bicycle riding from house to house, stopping by vehicles parked in driveways and checking to see if the doors were unlocked.

Officer Yandy Chirino was among those who responded to the area, where police encountered the suspect, identified as 18-year-old Jason Banegas. Officials says that Banegas fought with officers while they attempted to take him into custody, and Officer Chirino was shot during the altercation.

Banegas was detained on the scene while other officers rendered aid to Officer Chirino before he was transported to Memorial Regional Hospital. Unfortunately, Officer Chirino passed away from his sustained injuries after being transported.

Chief O’Brien commended the medical staff in their efforts to save the officer but conceded that the injuries sustained “were too severe.” The fallen officer’s body was escorted from the hospital by a motorcade procession over to the Broward County medical examiner’s office on October 18th.

The fallen officer had joined the Hollywood Police Department back in 2017, having been recognized numerous times for his outstanding work ethic and also attaining Officer of the Month back in June of 2020.

Chief O’Brien delivered the following statement directed toward Officer Chirino’s family:

“To Officer Chirino’s family, I offer you my deepest condolences. Your son selflessly devoted his life to law enforcement. He was a great officer and will leave a lasting impact on our community.

I know that there are no words that can comfort the pain that your family is feeling right now, and that pain extends here with his brothers and sisters at our department. The Hollywood Police family will stand beside you in the difficult days ahead and will always carry Officer Chirino’s legacy.”

A prayer vigil for Officer Chirino has since been scheduled for October 21st at Mara Berman Giulianti Park.

With regard to the suspect accused of fatally shooting the officer, Chief O’Brien noted that despite the alleged offender’s young age, he hosts a lengthy arrest record. Banegas is now facing charges of first-degree murder, armed burglary, battery on an officer, carrying a concealed firearm, grand theft of a firearm, and resisting with violence.

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Three officers shot, one killed in ambush shooting outside bar. Murdered deputy was a new dad.

(Originally published October 16th, 2021)

HOUSTON, TX – A deputy with Harris County Constable Precinct 4 was killed and two other deputies were injured in what authorities described as an ambush-style shooting when the deputies were responding to a reported disturbance outside of a bar.

One person of interest was taken into custody regarding the shooting, but authorities do not believe the individual is the shooter.

The incident occurred along the 4400 block of North Freeway at around 2:15 a.m. on October 16th, according to officials.

Three deputies, identified as 30-year-old Kareem Atkins, 28-year-old Darrell Garret, and 26-year-old Juquaim Barthen were all working an extra shift at the 45 Norte Sports Bar and Lounge when two of the deputies heard a commotion going on outside of the bar.

Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief James Jones said that the deputies suspected that there may have been a robbery going on outside of the bar and went to investigate. When the three deputies went to check out the commotion, an unidentified individual shot the deputies with a rifle from behind.

Officials say that all three deputies were rushed to Memorial Hermann hospital at Texas Medical Center, where Deputy Atkins later passed from his sustained injuries. The fallen deputy, who had joined Precinct 4 back in January of 2019, leaves behind a wife and a 6-month-old child.

Deputy Garnett was shot in his back and has since undergone surgery but remains in the ICU. As for Deputy Barthen, he was reportedly shot in the leg by the suspect.

The search for the shooting suspect is still ongoing, according to reports, with only one person of interest having been taken into custody that investigators claim is not the shooter.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman noted that he’d met with the families of the slain deputy as well as those injured during the shooting, calling it one of the most difficult things he’s ever done in his career in law enforcement:

“This is probably one of the most difficult things in my 36 years that I’ve had to go through in law enforcement… This is a tough time for Precinct 4. I’m asking for all of our community’s thoughts and prayers for our families.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took to Twitter following the shooting, calling the incident “an evil act” and expressing hope that those involved are arrested quickly: 

“Praying this morning for the family of the fallen Harris County Deputy & for the other 2 still in the hospital. This was an evil act that took this deputies life. A manhunt is currently underway. I hope these perpetrators are apprehended fast.”

The investigation is still ongoing. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this developing case. 

Officer – a new dad – murdered on his very first shift – in suspected retaliation for arresting the convict’s friend

(Originally published October 12th, 2021)

ALAMO, GA – Officials believe that the murder of an Alamo Police officer earlier in October stemmed from the suspect acting in retaliation to the arrest of a friend of his that the officer effected before being killed in an ambush.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Officer Dylan Harrison was on his first shift with the Alamo Police Department on October 8th when he made a traffic stop at the Circle K right across from the police department.

During the interaction with the driver of the vehicle, authorities say that Officer Harrison asked for the driver’s license – which the suspect reportedly refused to provide. The traffic stop escalated after the driver reportedly shoved Officer Harrison, which led to a scuffle where the officer used his taser to effect the arrest.

Said suspect was later taken to the Wheeler County Jail.

The same evening that Officer Harrison arrested the driver, authorities say that he was ambushed and fatally shot by Damien Anthony Ferguson, who investigators say is a known associate of the man Officer Harrison arrested earlier in the evening.

In a Facebook post from the Georgia Department of Public Safety, the arrest of Ferguson was announced on October 10th:

“This afternoon, less than one mile from where Alamo Police Officer Dylan Harrison was murdered, the State of Georgia Special Weapons and Tactical Team (SWAT) took Damien Ferguson into custody without incident. 

Intel provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the United States Marshals Service was instrumental in capturing Ferguson.  This apprehension is an example of a collaborative effort among local, state, and federal authorities.”

Ferguson has since been charged with the murder of Officer Harrison and was also charged with aggravated stalking in connection with a previous, unrelated domestic incident.

Alamo Police Chief Karen Sanders delivered the following statement regarding the killing of Officer Harrison:

“I have never experienced a grief that I have felt since Officer Dylan Harrison’s life was taken in our small, quiet town. Officer Harrison was a husband, a son and, more importantly, a father of a six-month-old boy.

His life was taken from him for simply doing his job. Despite the sadness that we have endured, I have found a sense of pride in seeing everyone pull together to right this tragic wrong.”

Georgia prison records show that Ferguson served time in prison from 1999 to 2006 for multiple counts of aggravated assault, including aggravated assault of a police officer, from a August 1998 incident. 

Damien Ferguson prison mugshot - courtesy of Georgia Dept. of Corrections
Damien Ferguson prison mugshot – courtesy of Georgia Dept. of Corrections

A Facebook account by the name of “Trapsafe Peeples” has been spreading the hashtag of “#FreeLuke” on the platform, alleging that the convicted felon accused of murder officer Harrison is innocent and has been making jokes over the officer’s murder in comments among their posts. 

The fallen officer, who previously served with the Cochran Police Department prior to being gunned down on his first day with the Alamo Police Department, is survived by his wife and 6-month-old child.

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