In a tragic incident that transpired on May 17, Rock Island County State’s Attorney Dora Villarreal has declared that the actions of two East Moline police officers were justified in the shooting that resulted in the death of an 80-year-old man, identified as Eugene Mewes.

The series of events unfolded at the Hometown Harbor Apartment Complex on 49th Avenue in East Moline, where police officers responded to a call reporting a man with a gun. It was revealed that the previous day, there had been a physical altercation between Mewes and a maintenance worker over work performed at Mewes’ residence, leading to police intervention.

On May 17, the same maintenance worker placed a call to the police, alerting them that Mewes had pointed a gun at him and fired, narrowly missing him. Officer Garrett Kistner swiftly arrived at the scene, which was also corroborated by Villarreal’s assessment and information from official sources.

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According to Villarreal’s report based on footage retrieved from the scene, the encounter unfolded as follows: Mewes was situated on a motorized scooter, gripping a semi-automatic pistol under his chin near the complex’s community room and the East Moline Christian School.

Upon their arrival, the officers immediately instructed Mewes to drop the weapon. However, Mewes consistently expressed his refusal, even going as far as requesting the officers to shoot him. He also disclosed that his finger was on the trigger of the gun, intensifying the gravity of the situation.

Despite repeated commands, Mewes persisted, prompting Officer Kistner and Lt. Dustin Edkin to take necessary action. Lt. Edkin fired a single shot, which struck the handlebars of Mewes’ scooter, causing him to momentarily flinch but later reposition himself and aim the gun towards Officer Kistner.

Sensing the immediate threat to their lives, both Lt. Edkin and Officer Kistner discharged their weapons, leading Mewes to drop the gun on the ground. In a bid to aid him, Officer Kistner swiftly retrieved a medical kit from his squad car and began rendering assistance to Mewes. Additional officers joined in administering medical aid until emergency medical services arrived to transport Mewes to a nearby hospital.

Tragically, Mewes sustained life-threatening injuries and succumbed to his wounds on May 20 at OSF Peoria. The autopsy and hospital reports confirmed that Mewes had suffered from four gunshot wounds.

In her declaration, State’s Attorney Villarreal concluded that the officers’ actions were justified based on the evidence presented. The decision was reached following an extensive assessment of the incident, including the footage, witness statements, and other relevant factors.

The case remains an event that showcases the complex and difficult situations that law enforcement officers face daily. As the investigation concludes, the community mourns the loss of a life while acknowledging the officers’ adherence to their duty to protect and serve.

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