The Lake County State’s Attorney released both dashcam and bodycam video Monday night January 7, 2018 from a pre-dawn shooting on a desolate gravel road in Lakemoor about 5:30 a.m. July 26, 2018 when a male fugitive from Pennsylvania pulled a gun on a female officer, and was shot and killed by a male backup officer. The female police officer was able to grab and control the fugitive’s gun in a struggle. No shots were fired by the fugitive and the offender was shot once in the head by the backup officer’s weapon during the struggle over the fugitive’s gun.
In the full video, Lakemoor Officer Brianna Tedesco approaches an SUV with out-of-state plates on a gravel service road just south of the intersection of Four Seasons Blvd and Sullivan Lake Rd Lakemoor, Illinois. During investigation by a lone police officer, the driver, who had been asleep, tells her his name is James Dunkin — a false name.
Officer Tedesco says, “I just have to make sure you don’t have any warrants or anything, which I’m sure you don’t.” Tedesco moves to the rear of the vehicle and writes down his plate number.
The male being investigated in the car was actually Kenneth Martell, wanted for murder of 88 year-old Theodore Garver in Pennsylvania.
“They’re not finding a DL, a driver’s license record, for a James Dunkin. Do you have anything in the vehicle with your name on it?” she asks him. She is the only police officer in close proximity of the vehicle even when she discovers there is no match of his name with a driver’s license record.
Suspiciously, Martel is looking down toward his lap or the inside of his vehicle door as he hands Tedesco a piece of paper. Tedesco, suddenly spots the fugitive’s weapon, and screams, “No!” repeatedly. Martell tells Tedesco to let go of the gun, and Tedesco says she will leave, but doesn’t let go of the gun. Martell repeatedly tells officer Tedesco to let go. In the continuing struggle, Tedesco screams, “please don’t shoot me.” In the official police report of the incident, Tedesco stated she believed Martel pulled the trigger but the gun didn’t fire. From the point that Tedesco sees the fugitive’s gun and screams “No” to the point that backup Lakemoor police officer Anthony Loiacono fires one fatal shot into Martell’s head, lasts 22 seconds.
Loiacono fires his shot obliquely through the open driver’s door window from a distance of about 5-7 feet, just as Tedesco lets go of the fugitive’s gun and retreats toward the rear of the car. Tedesco then draws her gun and aims it at the dead fugitive, who slumped slowly back into his seat after receiving a gunshot wound to the face. Loiacono immediately reports via police radio that a shot was fired by the police, and that the suspect is down.
Martell had also attempted to grab a second gun inside the vehicle. Two handguns were found inside the vehicle upon immediate investigation of the police-involved shooting. Later a police search of the nearby woods turned up several more weapons —including rifles, shotguns and crossbows.
The pre-dawn non-routine vehicle investigation on a desolate road was a risky practice, and it is initially unknown whether Lakemoor Police Department had a protocol for this type of vehicle investigation, or whether Lakemoor Police Officer Brianna Tedesco — a one-year police veteran — failed to follow protocol. Many police departments have protocols that would require at least two police officers approach a vehicle involved in similar circumstances without a visible emergency.
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ABC 7 Chicago’s Chopper 7 HD was over the scene. Lakemoor is located in Lake County and McHenry County. The Lakemoor Golf Club and the crime scene where Chopper 7 HD was overhead is located in Lake County.