A Peoria Police officer is in stable condition after being shot in the torso early Thursday morning. In addition to the injured officer, a suspect is dead. Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell says this all began as a routine traffic stop just before 2:30 this morning.
It started at Lincoln and Western on the south side of Peoria when police say they stopped a vehicle driven by 33 year old Daniel El of Peoria Heights on a stop sign violation and expired registration. Police say a passenger who was in the vehicle with El got out of the car. Authorities say that's when El drove off and a police chase ensued. Police say that El then lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a pole at Garden and Warren, then fled on foot with police chasing him.
That's when authorities say there was an exchange of gunfire, leaving an officer injured and El dead.
"What I know is he was struck multiple times, how many multiple means a question mark to me at this moment. Our forensic pathologist is doing the autopsy right now. When we get that information and collaborate with state police we'll be able to release that information," says Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood, who adds that the autopsy results will be released Friday morning.
"We're reviewing all dash cam videos for any vehicle that may have captured any part of that traffic stop and subsequent shooting. That takes time, so all that information is going to be handed over to the state police," shares Chief Mitchell.
Mitchell did say that one of the officers from today's incident was also involved in the Eddie Russell, Jr. investigation. You'll recall those officers were cleared in the case this past Monday when an investigation ruled the shooting was justified.
As for El, he was previously convicted of burglary and armed robbery in 2004 and was sentenced to 10 years with credit for time served.