East Moline officers justified in the fatally shooting of an elderly man in a motorized scooter

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Rock Island County State's Attorney Dora Villarreal says two East Moline officers were justified in a shooting that killed an 80-year-old on May 17.

On May 17 around 2:17 p.m., East Moline Police officers were called to the Hometown Harbor Apartment Complex on 49th Avenue in East Moline for a man with a gun. He was later identified as 80-year-old Eugene Mewes. According to Villareal, officers had responded to the complex a day prior, May 16, after Mewes got into a physical altercation with a maintenance worker over work done at Mewe's residence.

That maintenance worker is who called police on May 17, saying Mewes had pointed a gun and fired it toward him, but that it did not hit him. One of the responding officers, Garrett Kistner, arrived at the scene around 2:24 p.m., according to Villareal's opinion and previous information from officials.

Villareal's report says footage from the scene shows Mewes sitting on a motorized scooter as Kistner slowly approaches him. At 2:25 p.m., the second officer, Lt. Dustin Edkin, arrives and approaches Mewes as well.

According to the state's attorney, Mewes was holding a semi-automatic pistol under his chin. He was located near the complex's community room and the East Moline Christian School. Here is how Villareal says the shooting took place, based on the investigation:

"Lt. Edkin has his duty weapon out and is heard repeatedly yelling for Mewes to drop the gun. Mewes responds several times, saying he was not going to drop the gun, and asks for officers to “shoot him.” At this time Kistner is also telling Mewes to drop the gun and is now positioned directly to the left of Mewes, in an L position. Mewes continues to yell that he is not dropping the gun and that he wants the officers to shoot him, he also says that he has his finger on the trigger of the gun.

"Both Lt. Edkin and Kistner continue to command Mewes to drop the weapon, and Edkin fires one shot towards Mewes that appears to hit the middle of the handlebars on the scooter, a portion of metal can be seen flying into the air. Mewes appears to flinch, but then leans up with the gun in his right hand and begins to point the gun towards his left, where Kistner is standing.

"At this time, both Edkin and Kistner fire shots, and Mewes drops the gun on the ground to his right. Kistner quickly runs back to his squad to retrieve a medical kit and begins to render aid to Mewes. Other officers arrive at the scene and assist with medical aid until EMS arrives to transport Mewes to a nearby hospital."

Mewes sustained life-threatening injuries and later died at OSF Peoria on May 20. Autopsy and hospital reports say he had four gunshot wounds.

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