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Local News

Will County coroner reports shed light on incident where man was shot by Joliet police officer

Coroner reports reveal more details of shooting, name officer

New details regarding a man who was shot and killed by a Joliet police officer emerged in recently released Will County Coroner’s Office reports.

Bruce Carter, 38, of Joliet was shot four times about 11:20 a.m.
Feb. 6 at his home in the 200 block of South Des Plaines Street, according to coroner reports obtained by The Herald-News through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Carter later was pronounced dead about noon that day in the emergency room of Amita Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.

According to the coroner’s office’s comprehensive report on Carter’s death, he “reportedly ... came out of the residence with a knife, and he was shot multiple times” by Joliet police Detective Aaron Bandy.

However, it’s not clear how close Carter and Bandy were to each other during the incident.

Joliet Police Chief Al Roechner previously said Carter attacked an officer while he was holding a “box cutter”-type knife and the officer was “forced to act” to “stop the threat.” On Monday, Roechner said he could not comment because the investigation of the shooting remains ongoing.

The Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force investigated the shooting. Task force Chairman Ken Kroll failed to return calls seeking comment Monday.

Will County State’s Attorney ‘s Office spokeswoman Carole Cheney said the case has been referred to their office by the task force for review. She declined to answer what the task force’s recommendations were.

“It’s pending review,” Cheney said.

Carter was a suspect in a robbery at the First Midwest Bank on West Jefferson Street that occurred about two hours before he was shot, according to the coroner’s investigative report.

The FBI investigated the robbery and has not publicly named Carter as a suspect. Roechner said he was identified by bank tellers as the robber.

The FBI listed an “unknown bank robber” as captured in the days after Carter’s death, but declined to answer further questions about the case. The FBI on Monday again declined to speak about the case.

The investigation of the robbery led Joliet police to Carter’s home on South Des Plaines Street. Carter was shot after police arrived at the house, according to the coroner’s report.

An autopsy performed Feb. 7 revealed that Carter was shot four times, once each in the lateral left shoulder, right upper chest, right chest and left upper abdomen, according to a forensic pathologist’s report.

For each gunshot wound, examination of the skin “about the wound of entrance reveals no evidence of close-range firing,” according to the report.

Deputy Coroner Kevin Stevenson said he did not know how close Bandy was to Carter. He said Carter was wearing clothes at the time of the shooting, which can obstruct muzzle imprints or gunpowder stippling on the skin.

When asked how “close-range firing” is defined, Stevenson said to “do some Googling.”

Carter arrived at the hospital in full cardiac arrest, according to the coroner’s report. He was pronounced dead at 11:55 a.m.

Carter’s clothes were cut and removed. According to the report, miscellaneous items such as loose change and “smoking materials” were found. A major crimes task force investigator told the deputy coroner that he already had collected Carter’s shoes and wallet, which apparently contained $875 in cash.

A toxicology report indicated Carter had evidence of marijuana in his blood when he died, as well as a blood-alcohol content of 0.013 percent, which is below what the website Alcohol.org considers the “lowest level of intoxication.”

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