County of Peoria
Jodi M. Hoos
February 10, 2023
In re: fatal shooting at Martin Luther King Jr. park on 10-3-22
The Office of the Peoria County State's Attorney has examined the evidence, exhibits, circumstances, facts, and law relative to the shooting death of Samuel Vincent Richmond on October 3, 2022. Sorting out witnesses, reviewing digital footage and processing evidence takes time. As tragic and difficult as Mr. Richmond’s untimely death may be, it appears that Mr. Richmond, although most likely not wanting to hurt anyone other than himself, acted in a manner that left officers with no choice but to use deadly force, often referred to as ‘suicide by police.’ He made multiple comments about suicide and left a handwritten note that read “dear Lord… thank you for finally allowing me to rest.. I’m so very tired… I go now to rest at peace…”
According to police reports and body camera footage, police initially make contact with Mr. Richmond in Martin Luther King Jr. park behind a tree. The first officer involved twice told him to “show me your hands.” He did not comply. Instead, he came out from behind the tree, raised a handgun and pointed it at the officer. The officer then fired. Mr. Richmond fell forward on his knees still holding the gun. Three other officers arrived on scene around this time who also saw him holding a gun. They repeatedly yelled “drop the gun.” He did not comply, and officers fired more shots.
Under Illinois law, a peace officer is justified in using force likely to cause death or great bodily harm when he “reasonably believes, based on the totality of the circumstances, that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another.” 720 ILCS 5/7-5(a). Upon review of the facts, it is determined that the course of conduct engaged in by the officers that resulted in the death of Samuel Vincent Richmond was legally justified, reasonable and necessary to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Illinois and themselves from death or great bodily harm. A more detailed report will be available on our website next week.
Very truly yours,
JODI M. HOOS
Peoria County State’s Attorney