Transparency-Officer Involved Shooting - 02/06/23
On Feb. 6, 2023, Rantoul police Officers Jose Aceves and Rikki McComas were involved in a shooting that resulted in the death of one person, Azaan Lee, 21, of Champaign. An independent investigation determined that Lee was struck in the leg by one bullet fired from his own gun during a struggle with officers for that weapon. Officer Aceves fired three shots from his duty weapon after hearing Lee’s gun fire, but Lee was not struck. The Champaign County State’s Attorney determined that the officers’ actions were legally justifiable following an independent investigation. This was the first fatal shooting involving the Rantoul Police Department.
The records below provide a more detailed account of the events that led up to and immediately following the officer-involved shooting. These are made available in their entirety to promote transparency, accountability and to help answer questions that the Rantoul community may have.
The records included here are:
• 8 reports filed by Officer Aceves, Officer McComas and other officers who responded
• 2 audio recordings of METCAD radio traffic during the incident
• 4 videos from body-worn cameras worn by Officer Aceves, Officer McComas, Officer Mennenga and Sergeant King
• 2 edited (shortened) videos from body-warn cameras worn by Officer Aceves and Officer McComas showing side-by-side view of the incident
• A timeline of significant events
Timeline (All times PM):
10:43:00 – Officers Haley Mennega and Rikki McComas are dispatched to investigate a report of a stolen vehicle in the 200 block of West Belle Avenue, Rantoul. While speaking with the victim, Azaan Lee approaches and interacts with the officers. It was unclear at that time whether Lee was involved, and he is allowed to leave the scene.
11:04:00 – The vehicle is located without keys or a driver near the intersection of Scott Street and Campbell Avenue, Rantoul, approximately two blocks from where it was stolen. Officers go to that location.
11:14:00 – Officer Jose Aceves makes initial contact with Lee while investigating the stolen vehicle near Belle Avenue and Tanner Avenue, about three blocks from where the vehicle was recovered. Officer McComas arrives shortly thereafter. While questioning Lee, the officers recognize that he has a heavy item in the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt.
11:17:17 – Officer Aceves grabs Lee’s wrist as he reaches for the item in his pocket. Lee pulls away from Officer Aceves with his hand still in his pocket. Officer Aceves reaches into Lee’s pocket for the item, which is now identified as a handgun. A struggle for the gun begins between Lee and Officers Aceves and McComas. Officer Aceves’s body-worn camera falls off during the struggle. Both Lee and Officer Aceves simultaneously have a hold of the gun inside and outside Lee’s pocket.
11:18:09 – Lee’s gun discharges during the struggle, and the discharged projectile strikes Lee in the inner thigh.
11:18:18 – Having heard the gunfire, Officer Aceves fires three shots from his duty weapon in Lee’s direction as he is running from the area. None of the shots strike Lee. Lee dropped the gun as he ran from officers.
11:37:15 – Rantoul officers and Champaign County Sheriff’s Office deputies find Lee in a backyard in the 200 block of East Campbell Avenue, Rantoul. He does not respond to officers’ commands.
11:38:17 – Officers make contact with Lee and begin first aid, including cutting away clothing, locating the wound, dressing it, and beginning to apply a tourniquet.
11:40:48 – A tourniquet is applied.
11:42:51 – Lee is moved into an ambulance and taken to the hospital.
Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Investigative Team Reports
Body Worn Camera Videos
Officer Aceves’ and Officer McComas’ body camera video has been placed side-by-side and shortened (to begin with Officer Aceves’ contact with Mr. Lee). In this video Officer McComas’ audio is used; however, her audio does not record the sound of the gun shots.
Officer Aceves’ and Officer McComas’ body camera video has been placed side-by-side and shortened (to begin with Officer Aceves’ contact with Mr. Lee). In this video Officer Aceves’ audio is used and does record the sound of the gun shots.