Neighbors react to officer-involved shooting in East Moline

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EAST MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - People who live in an East Moline neighborhood are reacting after an officer-involved shooting on Saturday night.

The suspect, who was shot by police just before 8:00 Saturday night, is in the hospital and two East Moline Police officers are on paid leave.

Police say it all started when an East Moline officer attempted to make a traffic stop on a car that refused to comply. It escalated from there and it ended with two officers firing their service weapons.

It happened near the intersection of Avenue of the Cities and 7th St., just west of United Township High School.

According to Illinois State Police, the suspect shot by police was 25-year-old Darold Strunk, who was a passenger in a car that refused to stop. TV6 is told a second East Moline Officer was able to block the car in with their squad car.

Police say Strunk then got out, pointed a gun at one of the officers, and opened fire. Two officers returned fire, hitting Strunk, before a foot chase started. Strunk was eventually arrested.

“I am so thankful that our officers are able to go home tonight to their families. I have incredibly dedicated police officers who put their lives on the line every day for this community. I am proud of each and every one of them for their dedication to the citizens of East Moline,” Chief John Reynolds of East Moline Police Dept. Said.

People who live in the area describe it as a quiet and family friendly neighborhood.
They say they were shocked when a regular Saturday evening resulted in gun fire. One mother who wasn't home at the time of the shootout recalls what it was like to get the call her home was hit.

"They were like the house just got shot up. And I was like what? So we like speeded over here and we were able to get in,” Amalia Sereno, whose home was hit by bullets, said.

As she got home a wave of relief hit her. Her kids, who were home at the time, were okay.

"My son I just hugged him because I was like he was outside playing and I didn't know. When I got the call I was like they're not going to tell me if something happened to him," Sereno said.

While relieved, the inside her home is now a crime scene.

"There's a bullet hole through my headboard. And then when it went through the headboard, it went through my daughter's dresser right next to her crib. And then the other one was my son's room, which he shares with his older sister right now. And she said that she could hear the wind from the bullet come, come by," Sereno said.

Other neighbors say they were shaken up when they heard the gunshots.

“I thought it was like a firecracker for a minute. And then I zoom in and I'm like oh man. I see a car stopped. And like four policemen like in the streets," Tre Berkley, who witnessed the incident, said.

The neighborhood, to them, is relatively quiet. This never happens over here. It's peaceful. It's my first time seeing a shooting fire come out of nowhere in the daylight. And while Saturday night's shooting has left the neighborhood on edge, people living there say they'll move forward.

"I was just so worried that something happened to my kids when I got home but I was know. That's what i was concentrated on at that moment. That everybody was okay," Sereno said.

“I'm glad it's over. I don't want to see that again. I'm glad I’m safe. I'm glad everybody's safe now. So I’m happy too,” Sereno said.

Those neighbors said they still feel safe living in that neighborhood, but Sereno said she is going to talk to her kids about what to do if a shooting happens again.

Strunk is facing charges of aggravated use of a firearm but more charges could be filed.