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Investigators: Man pointed air rifle at Vernon Hills police officer before being shot

File Photo | Source: Vernon Hills Police Department.

Investigators said on Thursday that the man shot and killed by a Vernon Hills police officer last weekend called 911 and then pointed an air rifle at the responding officer.

Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman Christopher Covelli said that Randy Rausch, 34, was shot by a Vernon Hills police officer early Saturday morning.

Covelli said that Rausch had called 911 about a domestic dispute in the 100 block of Marimac Lane in Vernon Hills around 1:38 a.m. Saturday.

Rausch told 911 dispatchers that he would be in his garage when officers arrived. When the first police officer arrived and went to the garage he found Rausch armed with a rifle. Covelli said that the officer gave several commands to Rausch to drop the gun.

“Rausch pointed the rifle at the officer and the officer fired at Rausch,” Covelli said.

Rausch was struck by the gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy conducted on Monday confirmed the man died from gunshot wounds but did not specify how many times he had been shot. Toxicology testing is pending.

On Thursday, Covelli said that the rifle turned out to be a Crosman Nitro Piston powered .177 caliber air rifle with a scope.

Photo of a Nitro Piston Powered Break Barrel Air Rifle (Model CF4NP17SX), which is similar to the rifle that Rausch pointed at the police officer.

“The air rifle replicates a fully functional rifle capable of firing larger caliber rounds,” Covelli said.

The Vernon Hills Police Department requested the Lake County Major Crime Task Force to conduct an independent investigation of the incident.

The police officer who was involved in the shooting was transported to an area hospital for evaluation and has since been treated and released.

Once the Lake County Major Crime Task Force completes the investigation, the Lake County State’s Attorney will review the case and make a final determination, officials said.


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