Racine Police shoot and kill man inside apartment building

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by Lane Kimble

RACINE -- A community along Durand Avenue in Racine sat rattled and on edge Sunday.

"Cops everywhere, just major chaos," one neighbor told CBS-58 News.

Racine police responded to reports of a suicidal person in an apartment building on Durand Avenue just after noon.  Police say they went inside and found a man armed with a weapon.  They told the man to put the weapon down,  but he refused, threatening the officers who then shot him.

"I heard four gunshots at the time, so I ran over here when I heard it," Teresa Cobb said.

Cobb lives next door and says her boyfriend is the man police shot.

"I didn't have a problem out of him or nothing like that and they just shot him because they thought he had a gun and a knife," Cobb said.

Cobb says her boyfriend, who neighbors call Rico, suffered from mental illness and had just gotten out of the hospital two days ago.

"After he took his medication [Sunday morning], he didn't feel too good and he laid down on the couch and stuff," Cobb said.  "I left and went  home and took a bath.  When I come back, this is all what happened."

Paramedics tried to save the man's life, but he died at the hospital.  Neighbors say he was a gentle man, who had  his own issues, but never would hurt someone else.

"Nice guy, seemed always very friendly, polite," neighbor Lisa Squires said.

"He wasn't trying to hurt himself because he never did when I was with him," Cobb said.

Sheriff's deputies worked the crime scene well into Sunday evening, keeping residents behind police tape.  Meanwhile, the man's girlfriend struggles to understand what went wrong.

"He never would fight me or fuss with me or argue with me," Cobb said.  "He's just a sweet person."
 

State law now requires an outside agency to investigate police-involved shootings.  The Racine County Sheriff's Office will handle this investigation.  Police have not yet identified the man.

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