Jemel Roberson, age 26, was working as a security guard at Manny’s Blue Room bar in Robbins, Ill., when a drunken patron who he had been asked to leave earlier, returned with a gun. The patron shot four people.
Roberson, who was armed at the time, returned fire, grabbed one of the men, held him down and waited for police to arrive, according to witnesses.
“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,'” Adam Harris told WGN-TV.
An unnamed Midloathian police officer, according to other officers in that department who were called to assist Robbins’ police, opened fire on Roberson, killing him.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard … and they still did their job, and saw a Black man with a gun, and basically killed him,” Harris said.
Midloathian Police Chief Dan Delaney only referred to Roberson as a “person who was armed.” Reports called him a “subject with a gun” and a “subject the officer shot”.
“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill of Purposed Church said.
Those that knew Roberson chose to call him a devoted loving son, man of God, hero, and one who put others before himself. Shaun King posted good Black guys are not safe from police bullets:
URGENT: Here is what happens when a good (BLACK) guy with a gun tries to intervene in a mass shooting. #JemelRoberson
A beloved church musician in Chicago who moonlighted as a security guard was shot & killed by police after he stopped a mass shooting at an area bar. pic.twitter.com/uRPqEEFqKX
— Shaun King (@shaunking) November 12, 2018
Black men are 20 percent of the victims killed by police so far this year.
Most recently to make national news: Botham Jean was murdered in his own apartment by officer Amber Guyger in September, and two months later, Guyger still doesn’t have the proper charge. Just this week, after November mid-term elections, the new Dallas DA, John Creuzot, said that manslaughter is an “inappropriate charge” and “anything less than murder deviates from Dallas County precedent.”
Like Jean, Roberson was very involved in his church, as an organist at New Spiritual Light Baptist Church. He was also training to be a police officer. “The very people that he wanted to be family with, took his life,” said Patricia Hill, Pastor of Purposed Church.
“How in the world does the security guard get shot by police” asked the church’s pastor, Walter Turner. “A young man that was literally doing his job and now he’s gone.”
The State Police Public Integrity Task Force is investigating the police-involved shooting, and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office is overseeing the investigation into the patron shooting.
There are cameras outside of the bar, but it’s not known if they captured footage yet, according to WGN News.
A GoFundMe page has, in less than 24 hours, already raised over $13,000 to cover funeral costs.