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Crime & Courts

Sheriff's deputy shoots gunman at DeKalb apartment complex

DeKALB – Cynthia Tyler said her cousin Hassan Coleman was erratic and suicidal when he showed up at her son's apartment with a gun Saturday.

“He was kind of having a psychotic nervous breakdown,” Tyler said about Coleman, 23, of the 1300 block of West Lincoln Highway in DeKalb. “But he is a good kid.”

A DeKalb County Sheriff's deputy shot Coleman in the arm Saturday when authorities say he threatened them with a pistol after holing up inside a Suburban Estates apartment building.

Coleman was taken by ambulance to Kishwaukee Hospital and later to Rockford Memorial Hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening, police said. On Sunday, Tyler said Coleman had surgery on his arm and is recovering. A hospital representative could not comment on Coleman's condition.

Coleman is charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated assault, DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack said.

The shooting happened after police said they responded to a call that a man armed with a gun was inside the complex on Twombly Road west of Glidden Road about 1 p.m. Saturday. When police arrived, citizens helped them identify the apartment in building 23 and police tried to make contact with Tyler and her sons, ages 18 and 22, who were in the apartment.

Tyler said she and her sons were trying to calm Coleman down, but didn't know what caused him to become suicidal. She also did not know who called police.

Police called Tyler from outside the apartment about 2 p.m. When she came outside, police kept her there and called her sons to come outside. Tyler said Coleman, a Kishwaukee College student who also worked part-time, only threatened himself.

Coleman did not hold Tyler and her sons hostage or harm them, police said.

Tyler said police moved her and her sons around a corner where they could not see the apartment. She recalled hearing only one gun shot. The next thing she remembered was seeing Coleman on a gurney.

“I didn't want them to hurt him, but he was threatening to hurt himself,” Tyler said. “The police were following their protocol. It worked out for the best. He's going to get the help he needs.”

According to police, the deputy shot Coleman in defense of himself and others after Coleman threatened them.

The Illinois State Police are investigating the shooting, as is typical when an officer shoots a weapon. An Illinois State Police representative did not return requests for comment Sunday.

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