BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. — Two Buffalo Grove police officers who fatally shot an armed man amid a 911 response in December 2021 were cleared of any wrongdoing, according to the Cook County State Attorney’s Office.
Just before 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 2, 2021, the officers encountered 25-year-old Brian Christopher Howard following a report about a man firing shots in Mill Creek Park near Radcliffe Road and Arlington Heights Road.
WGN News reported that the caller stated that the man was armed with two handguns and had already “popped off two rounds.” The caller then stated the man was dangerous and when the dispatcher asked who the gunman was, the caller allegedly said, “Well, that would be me.”
Upon admitting to the dispatcher that he was armed and would not put his guns down, Howard allegedly said he was a “bad man” and that officers should “end this” by using lethal force against him.
When officers arrived at the scene, they saw Howard with two handguns. According to police, Howard shot both firearms — he did not point the weapons at the officers when he discharged them, however — and walked toward officers. Howard was fatally struck following warning shots when he refused the officer’s commands to drop his weapons.
Howard died at the scene.
Police said the incident was captured on dashcam video.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office ruled the officers acted in self-defense and as a result, would not face prosecution. Both were put on paid leave pending the investigation.
Family members of Howard told the Chicago Tribune in Jan. 2022 that police failed him, saying, “He was not trying to harm anybody. He was hurting and he didn’t know what to do.”
The two officers involved were not injured in the incident.