Grand jury returns no indictments against officers in Havermale shooting death

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Bradley Havermale

QUINCY — An Adams County grand jury did not return criminal indictments against Adams County Sheriff’s Department officers involved in the Feb. 9 shooting death of Bradley Havermale.

Adams County State’s Attorney Gary Farha issued a statement Friday saying his office also reviewed the incident and the evidence collected through the investigation.

” … The officers acted appropriately, within proper procedures and training, and criminal charges are not appropriate,” Farha said in the statement. “The deputies involved made multiple attempts to de-escalate and attempted to use less-than-lethal force to resolve the situation. Those attempts were ultimately unsuccessful and left the deputies in a position where they reasonably and rationally feared for their own safety and the safety of others, at which point it became regrettably necessary to discharge their firearms.”

Adams County Sheriff Tony Grootens said the three officers involved were Sgt. Sam Smith, Investigator John Schone and Deputy Logan Peter. 

Havermale’s family issued a statement after receiving a copy of the news release from Muddy River News.

“Unfortunately, other than the press release, provided by Muddy River News, other media reports, an interview with the ISP (Illinois State Police) and the notification from the coroner and the death certificate, we have not been contacted by anyone and have no information or details regarding Brad’s death,” the statement read. This is a tragic event for our family and all concerned. We ask for continued prayers for everyone involved.”

“We have the deepest sympathy for the Havermale family for the loss of Bradley’s life,” Farha’s statement read. “It is a tragedy for all the parties involved. This incident shows the need for a continued expansion of social and psychological services in our community.”

Grootens said the ISP investigation would have been easier had his officers been wearing body cameras and their cars been equipped with cameras. The Adams County Board approved a five-year lease on body and car cameras earlier this week.

Grootens said he wanted a grand jury to rule on this case, even though the state’s attorney’s office has the authority to rule if the shooting was justifiable.

“I didn’t want to give the appearance of this being political,” he said. “Gary and I have been friends for a long, long time, and I just wanted to take the politics out of it. (The ruling from) the grand jury just comes across better, because it’s citizens from within the community who are deciding the issue.

“It’s sad that it happened. I’m sorry that it happened. We’d like to go through our entire careers and never have something like that happen. Unfortunately. I’ve had to deal with it before, and I hope I don’t have to deal with it any more.”

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