Who is DeShawn Tatum? Illinois suspect fatally shot as he drags cops with stolen car at gas station, video shows

Video footage released on Wednesday, May 5, shows the series of events that occurred on April 1, which led to the shooting of 25-year-old DeShawn Tatum at a Chicken Shack gas station at Rock Island


                            Who is DeShawn Tatum? Illinois suspect fatally shot as he drags cops with stolen car at gas station, video shows
A screenshot of DeShawn Tatum stealing a car from a bystander (Rock Island Police Department)

ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS: A man who stole a car at a gas station and tried to drive away after slamming the vehicle into reverse and dragging officers along with him was shot fatally by police officers. The video footage released on Wednesday shows the series of events that occurred on April 1, which led to the shooting of the 25-year-old man. 

The incident occurred at a Chicken Shack gas station and it shows cops asking the man to get out of the car. When he doesn't, the footage sees a cop open fire while one of them tries to get the driver's side door to open. In the video, one of them is heard yelling, "Get out of the f**king car!” 

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Who is DeShawn Tatum?

DeShawn Tatum is the 25-year-old suspect who was shot by the police. He was reportedly first running through an alley in Rock Island before stealing a bystander’s car at the gas station. During this altercation, Tatum was also seen trying to grab a gun from one of the officers as the car is in reverse and the weapon is discharged. This shattered the passenger’s window and grazed another cop’s head.

A still of a cop attempting to get Tatum to stop his car. (Rock Island Police Department)

The video also shows Tatum being asked to drop the gun that he had on him when he was spotted running through a nearby cemetery. Yet he did not obey commands to “drop the gun”. Following this, there was a foot chase at which time one of the officers picked a bag that Tatum had dropped. According to a report by State’s Attorney Dora Villarreal, this backpack contained a Glock 9mm magazine, 9mm Luger cartridges, other ammo, suspected marijuana and unidentified pills. 

It was revealed by the police that they were searching for Tatum after he posted videos on Snapchat holding a gun and threatening officers and this was in addition to the outstanding warrants for local and federal felonies. Before arriving at the gas station, he had also dropped a loaded Glock 9mm with an extended magazine which was recovered by the cops. Tatum died at the hospital later after he sustained gunshot wounds to the head and chest. 

Who shot DeShwan Tatum?

The four officers who shot Tatum were put on administrative leave after the incident occurred, however, no action will be taken against them claimed Villarreal. She wrote, "Mr. Tatum was in a vehicle, a weapon capable of causing great bodily harm or death," and added, "The fact that he just dragged several officers to the ground while grabbing the gun of another suggested that he intended to use it in a deadly manner and that he may have been planning to use it."

A screenshot from the video released by State’s Attorney Dora Villarreal. (Rock Island Police Department)

On the day the video was released by Villarreal, she also revealed, "The evidence in this case shows that Tatum would not relent in his attempt to escape and that he fully intended to hurt the officers and/or force the officers to hurt him, making their decisions to use deadly force objectively reasonable,” and added, “The statements of the officers along with witness accounts affirm the conclusion that the use of deadly force was objectively reasonable.”

The video can be seen here.

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