Robbins, IL — Early Sunday morning, a tragedy took place in Illinois after a hero security guard stopped what was quickly becoming a deadly mass shooting, only to be shot by police moments later. Jemel Roberson, 26, was working security at Manny’s Blue Room Sunday morning when his heroism got him killed.
The incident began after multiple individuals were asked to leave the bar for being unruly. Witnesses say all the men left and then returned and one came back in with a gun opening fire into the bar. As everyone else ran for cover, Roberson according to witnesses, engaged the shooter with his own gun.
Roberson then apprehended one of the men involved in the shooting and held him at gunpoint as the police showed up. Four people had been shot, but thanks to Roberson, no one else was hit, and those four people were transported to a local hospital and treated for their injuries. Sadly, Roberson would not be so lucky.
At around 4 a.m., police officers from multiple suburban departments responded to the call of shots fired. When they arrived, Roberson was holding one of the men on the ground so he could be apprehended by police.
“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,’” witness Adam Harris said.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘he was a security guard,’ and they basically saw a black man with a gun and killed him,” witness Harris tells WGN TV.
Roberson—who was licensed to carry a firearm—and is a father of a 9-month-old boy, saved an untold number of lives that night only to be gunned down shortly after.
“A Midlothian officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an officer-involved shooting. The subject the officer shot was later pronounced deceased at an area hospital,” Chief Daniel Delaney of the Midlothian Police Department said in a statement.
Adding to the irresponsible nature of the shooting is the fact that an attorney for the family noted that Roberson was actually wearing security attire and had a hat on with “security” emblazoned across the front.
According to the AP, charges were pending against the man who investigators believe fired the initial shots during a dispute. His name has yet to be released, and he remained hospitalized Monday, Cook County sheriff’s spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.
As the AP reports:
Attorney Gregory Kulis filed a civil rights lawsuit seeking more than $1 million on behalf of Roberson’s mother, Beatrice Roberson. He said Jemel Roberson was dressed in black but wearing a hat with the word “security” when he was shot.
Kulis also echoed witness reports that Roberson was holding down another man outside the bar when the officer arrived and shot him.
The Rev. Marvin Hunter said Roberson was “an upstanding young man” and a promising keyboard player at his and several other area churches.
Roberson was trying to “get enough money together for a deposit on a new apartment,” said Hunter, the great-uncle of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager fatally shot by a white Chicago police officer in a high-profile 2014 case.
Roberson also had hopes of someday becoming a police officer, according to his son’s mother.
The Illinois state police are now investigating the tragic incident and noted that they would not comment further until the investigation is complete.
WGN reported that friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who had plans to become a police officer. He was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches.
“Every artist he’s ever played for, every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill from Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”
“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill said.
Monday night, family and friends held a vigil for Roberson.
Family and friends hold a vigil at a Robbins’ nightclub where a security guard was shot by a Midlothian police officer.
What happened and what’s next for the cop involved? #WGNNEWS @9&10 pic.twitter.com/GvTnTE9A8B
— Patrick Elwood (@patrickelwood) November 13, 2018
“This was going to be my baby’s first Christmas with his dad and now he’s going to miss out on everything,” said Avontea Boose, the mother of Roberson’s child.
This is not the first time this year that cops have shown up to a scene and shot the hero. As TFTP reported in February, as news of the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida dominated the airwaves, a massive hostage situation—which was quickly turning into a mass shooting situation—was foiled by a hero in a church. That hero, however, was hospitalized after police showed up to the scene and shot him.
The situation was well on its way to becoming one of the deadliest shootings in history as the gunman took over 100 people hostage inside the Faith City Mission church until Clay Murdock helped to stop it. Luckily for Murdock, he was not killed. Roberson was not so lucky.