SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Several Decatur-area lawmakers are grieving with their community after an officer-involved shooting left two police officers hospitalized.
According to a release from the Decatur Police Department, a group of officers approached 32-year-old Jamontey Neal’s vehicle during a traffic stop early Wednesday morning before an officer noticed a gun in the car. Police said Neal fired several shots before officers fired back. Neal and the two officers who were shot were rushed to a Decatur hospital. Neal died at the hospital, and the two officers are listed in stable condition.
State representatives in Decatur said this is a difficult situation for the Decatur community.
“This is a change in society we’d never ever have, you know, seen this in years past,” Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) said. “I’m really distressed about it.”
“It’s just heartbreaking,” Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) said.
Many legislators are focusing on supporting the Decatur Police Department in the aftermath of the shooting.
“As a former prosecutor myself, let there be no mistake, I stand with the men and women in Blue and their families.” Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) said. “Their vigilance, sacrifice, and service to others is greatly appreciated by many.”
Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) issued a statement, asking for prayers for the police officers shot.
“This tragic shooting shows the dangers our brave men and women in law enforcement face every day,” Davis said. “Particularly in times like these, we should stand with the law enforcement community because they put their own safety on the line to keep us all safe.”
Lawmakers are glad both police officers are expected to survive.
“We’re just fortunate, very fortunate, that these two officers were not critically injured,” Caulkins said.
But some are already calling for tougher penalties for people who harm law enforcement.
“It is well past time for all Illinoisans to stand up for what is right, show our respect for these fine men and women – and stop this senseless insanity that has been mollycoddling the criminal class, insanity that has only served to embolden thugs to disrespect and act out violently against these brave heroes,” Rose said.