State’s Attorney: Fatal shooting by trooper in Morrison deemed justified
WHITESIDE Co., Ill. (KWQC) - Whiteside County State’s Attorney Terry Costello ruled the fatal shooting of Aaron Linke by an Illinois State Trooper in Morrison in October, justified.
According to Costello’s review, Trooper Stuart Baits’ actions were “justified and lawful” based on his review of the evidence and applicable law.
Around 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 21, state police assisted the Blackhawk Area Task Force in executing a search warrant at a home in the 600 block of North Cherry Street, according to state police. The search warrant was for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and possession of contraband in a penal institution.
According to Costello’s review, troopers “continually announced their office and purpose” while entering the home, clearing the first floor and going to the second.
Once inside, officers heard gunshots from within the home. During a search, officers encountered the 48-year-old Linke, who was the subject of the search warrant, according to state police.
Baits told Linke, “hands, hands, hands” after coming up to him with a gun pointed at Baits, according to the reviews. When he did not comply, Baits then shot Linke.
State police said Linke was taken to an area hospital and on Oct. 22, he was pronounced dead from his injuries.
Linke may have been aware the troopers were coming to his home before the first knock and announcement at the door, according to Costello’s review. There was surveillance video from the cameras around and in the home showing Linke in the house awake and moving shortly before the knocks.
Linke was found with a pistol, rifle and sawed-off shotgun on him, along with a knife and a shotgun shell, according to the review. Two long guns were also on the bed in a bedroom.
Officers continued to search the home and found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound. She also was taken to an area hospital.
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