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Shooting of man who pointed air rifle at Vernon Hills cop ruled justified

Vernon Hills Police Department Facebook photo

Authorities have ruled that a Vernon Hills police officer who fatally shot a man armed with an air rifle last year in the north suburb was justified.

The Lake County state’s attorney’s office announced the ruling on Friday in the Sept. 15 shooting of 34-year-old Randy J. Rausch.

The state’s attorney’s office reviewed all evidence collected by the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force and found that the officer “acted reasonably and appropriately” when he fired at Rausch, according to the report.

Officers responded at 1:38 a.m. that day to a domestic dispute in the 100 block of Marimac Lane, the task force said at the time. Rausch had told dispatchers he’d be in the garage when police arrived.

One officer arrived to see Rausch in the garage armed with what appeared to be a rifle, the task force said.

The state’s attorney’s office said the officer told Rausch to drop the rifle about 10 times before Rausch pointed it at the officer, at which point the officer fired nine shots. Rausch was pronounced dead at the scene.

The rifle recovered after the shooting turned out to be a Crosman .177-caliber air rifle with a 4×32 mm scope, authorities said.

Rausch, 34, lived in Vernon Hills, according to the Lake County coroner’s office. An autopsy determined he died of multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body.