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Chicago Security Guard Fatally Shot By White Police Officer Had On Security Hat, Lawsuit Says

The family's attorney said Jemel Roberson had been wearing a hat emblazoned with the word "security" on it when he was fatally shot by police.

By Jill Sederstrom

A white police officer fatally shot an armed security guard who was wearing a hat with "security" emblazoned across the front at a bar where he worked, according to an attorney for the guard's family who filed a federal lawsuit.

Jemel Roberson, 26, was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to a hospital early Sunday following the shooting at Manny's Blue Room in Robbins, just south of Chicago.

Four other people were shot and wounded, including a man who authorities believe fired a gun before officers arrived, Cook County sheriff's spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said.

Witnesses have said that security at the bar had asked a group of drunk men to leave the bar around 4 a.m. on Sunday, but one of the men later returned and opened fire, according to WGN-TV, a local outlet in Chicago.

When police arrived at the scene, Roberson was holding "somebody on the ground with his knee in his back, with his gun in his back," witness Adam Harris told WGN-TV.

"Everybody is screaming out, 'He's a security guard,'" Harris said.

Charges were pending against the man who investigators believe fired the initial shots during a dispute. His name has yet to be released, and he remained hospitalized Monday, Ansari said.

Investigators said the initial gunfire was reported around 4 a.m. Sunday. An officer responding from nearby Midlothian encountered and shot "a subject with a gun," Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney said in a statement. The person was later identified as Roberson.

Roberson, who was black, was the only person killed.

Attorney Gregory Kulis filed a civil rights lawsuit seeking more than $1 million on behalf of Roberson's mother, Beatrice Roberson. He said Jemel Roberson was dressed in black but wearing a hat with the word "security" when he was shot.

Kulis also echoed witness reports that Roberson was holding down another man outside the bar when the officer arrived and shot him.

Since Sunday's shooting, details about Roberson are beginning to emerge, painting a picture of a talented musician, new father and licensed gun owner who had hoped to one day become a police officer himself.

Rev. Marvin Hunter, the great uncle of Laquan McDonald, a black teen who was fatally shot by a white Chicago police officer in 2014, said Roberson often played the keyboard at his church and was "an upstanding young man.”

The mother of his child, Avontea Boose, said her son would now lose the opportunity to get to know his father as he grows up.

"This was going to be my baby's first Christmas with his dad and now he's going to miss out on everything.”

The Midlothian Police, meanwhile, said it plans to use the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force to investigate the shooting.

"This investigation is on-going with the Cook County Sheriff's Police and Robbin's Police Department investigating the criminal aspect and the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force investigating the Officer involved shooting aspect," Delaney said in the statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

[Photo Credit: Avontea Boose via Associated Press]

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