RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — One woman in Rantoul heard gunshots right outside of her back door on Monday night. Police said that gunfire was part of an officer-involved shooting that left the suspect dead.
It happened in Rantoul at West Belle and North Ohio Avenues. That’s right around the corner from the police station and just north of downtown.
The Champaign County Coroner said Azaan Lee, a 21-year-old from Champaign, was killed. Preliminary autopsy results show he died from a gunshot wound to his leg.
Rantoul Police have released very few details so far. They said it could take weeks before all of the evidence and reports are finished and given to the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The woman who saw it all wanted to remain anonymous for her safety.
“We heard gunshots fired around 11 o’clock,” she said. “Being close to the water tower, we heard the echo. We started seeing cops show up.”
She doesn’t live far from where the crime scene tape and evidence markers show the aftermath of the shooting.
State Police said Rantoul officers were investigating a stolen vehicle when they had a “physical altercation” with an armed suspect. Police said that’s when shots were fired.
The neighbor heard two rounds of gunfire.
State Police also said the suspect left the scene on foot but lost consciousness a few blocks away. They said first responders tried to help him, but he later died at the hospital.
The woman in Rantoul described it all as a scary situation.
No law enforcement officials were hurt, but because officers were involved, State Police are also investigating.
In a statement, Rantoul Police said:
“The Rantoul Police Department is committed to transparency and releasing full details of the incident after the investigation is completed.”Rantoul Police
The neighbor said she’s concerned there could be more of what she called “chaos” in the community.
“With all the crime, and with us being so close to the Rantoul Police Department, I thought we were safe,” she added.
WCIA has reached out to Rantoul Police for more details. They can’t provide any updates right now and are asking for everyone’s patience as they investigate. If you have any surveillance video or information, contact the police.