DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin has determined that a deputy was justified in fatally shooting a 17-year-old boy in west suburban Villa Park more than three months ago.
About 11:30 p.m. Jan. 1, the DuPage County sheriff’s deputy shot 17-year-old Trevon Johnson four times in the 17W700 block of Standish Lane in unincorporated Villa Park, the Sun-Times previously reported.
Johnson’s siblings, including his pregnant sister, called 911 to report that he was destroying the house and was armed with a knife, according to a statement from the state’s attorney’s office.
His sister said, “Please, please, please bring the police now … Oh my God … he needs to go, he needs to go to jail … that’s my brother, he’s destroyed the whole entire house, he’s taking knifes, he’s got glass and he’s pulling all the braids out of my hair.”
The uniformed deputy heard yelling and a loud crash as he approached the house, and drew his service weapon, according to the statement. He was met by a resident of the house, who motioned for the deputy to enter.
The deputy asked if Johnson was armed, and the resident said, “Yes, upstairs,” according to the statement.
When the deputy was inside, he saw Johnson’s brother at the top of a stairway and ordered him to come down, and the brother complied, according to the statement. The deputy searched him for weapons at the bottom of the stairs, and during the search, he heard footsteps running down the stairs toward him.
The deputy pushed the brother out of the way and saw Johnson leaping toward him and holding a gray metal object in his right hand, according to the statement. The deputy ordered Johnson to put it down, but Johnson kept coming. Johnson thrust the object toward the deputy, who fired five shots, striking Johnson four times.
Johnson was pronounced dead at 12:05 a.m. Jan. 2 at Elmhurst Hospital, according to the statement. Toxicology reports found he had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system at the time of his death.
The scene was processed by the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services Command. It was determined the knife-like object that Johnson threw at the deputy was a portion of a marble and silver sports trophy. A butter knife was also recovered from the living room floor, and 12 other knives were recovered from the kitchen.
“Given the violent actions of Mr. Johnson, his refusal to obey police commands, along with his actions of thrusting and then throwing the trophy at the deputy, the deputy acted lawfully and was justified in using deadly force by discharging his weapon in order to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or other residents of the home,” Berlin said in the statement.
“It is indeed a tragedy any time a human life is lost. In my opinion, the deputy involved in this unfortunate incident made every attempt to reach a peaceful conclusion under very stressful conditions. His concern for the safety and well-being of the other residents in the home is a testament to the excellent training that the DuPage County sheriff’s office provides for their entire force,” Berlin said.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Johnson’s failure to obey the deputy’s commands and his aggressive, threatening behavior resulted in the deputy discharging his weapon. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, as they attempt to come to terms with what happened that evening.”