The state’s attorney announced he has justified and cleared an officer who fatally shot a man that had stabbed a mother of two more than 40 times in Harvard in June.
Elizabeth Alvarado-Garcia, 24, of Harvard, had just returned from the Harvard Milk Days Fair to her home in the 700 block of Dewey Street in Harvard with two juveniles on the evening of June 3.
She dropped one of the children off at the house and left to drive a male friend home.
Alvarado-Garcia returned home to find Daniel Alvarado-Aguilar, 33, who she had dated, was inside her house.
Alvarado-Aguilar had broken into Alvarado-Garcia’s home and was armed with a large knife.
He grabbed Alvarado-Garcia by the hair and directed her out the front door around 11:30 p.m.
Alvarado-Aguilar was confronted by two people, who were standing outside.
One of them immediately called 911 and heard Alvarado-Garcia say, “I need help – he has a knife.”
Alvarado-Garcia was also heard saying “don’t do it, don’t do it” and Alvarado-Aguilar was heard saying that “[Elizabeth] was going to die” with him.
Alvarado-Aguilar began stabbing Alvarado-Aguilar in the back and head.
Alvarado-Aguilar called the woman “a b–ch for cheating on him” as he stabbed her.
Prosecutors said Alvarado-Aguilar stood over Alvarado-Garcia and stabbed himself in the chest.
Alvarado-Aguilar was seen laying on top of Alvarado-Garcia and hugging her.
Officers Jose Andrade, Todd Ozcus and Alexandra Mendlik, and Sergeant Trent Tobias responded.
Police found Alvarado-Aguilar, who was holding a knife, lying on top of Alvarado-Garcia in the front yard near the street.
Both of them were covered in blood and Alvarado-Garcia appeared unresponsive.
Officers surrounded Alvarado-Aguilar with firearms drawn and instructed him multiple times in English and Spanish to drop the knife and get off of Alvarado-Garcia.
Alvarado-Aguilar did not comply and Ozcus fired his taser, which had no effect.
Ozcus activated the charge on the taser again while Andrade and Mendlik pulled Alvarado-Aguilar off the woman.
Alvarado-Aguilar dropped the knife when he was pulled off but then picked up the knife.
Tobias fired six shots, striking Alvarado-Garcia four times in the neck and face, killing him.
Alvarado-Garcia was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy showed she had over 40 stab wounds.
Alvarado-Aguilar was pronounced dead at the scene. Toxicology results showed he had a .092 g/dL blood alcohol concentration and had cocaine in his system.
Family of Alvarado-Garcia said at the time that the woman left behind a one-year-old child and a four-year-old child.
“She was a kind, free-spirited young woman who deserved to watch her boys grow. She did not deserve to be robbed of life,” Karina Falcon Gonzalez said.
The state’s attorney’s office, in addition to its report released Thursday, also released two bodycam videos that captured the shooting.
McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally ruled Tobias’ use of deadly force was justified, saying the suspect was armed with a knife, refused commands, had just stabbed the victim and reached for the knife again after dropping it.
“We wish to acknowledge the courageous and able response from the Harvard Police Department to the harrowing circumstances of June 3, 2023. We recognize that these events may very well have a personal cost for the officers involved that is paid long after any investigation is closed,” Kenneally said.
“Lastly, we wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Elizabeth Alvarado-Garcia for their senseless and tragic loss,” the state’s attorney added.