Freedom Of Information Act on Justin Knox/Metro Enforcement Officer Shot At The Auburn Manor in August 2014
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Notes: Information and files released via the Freedom Of Information Act from the Rockford Illinois Police Department. Some of the information may be graphic, some of the photos may be graphic. User discretion is advised. Some information is redacted by the RPD. The files below are unedited (only watermarked and highlighted) that were released to us via the FOIA via RPD. Some information may or may not be correct.
Brief Synopsis: In August 2014 Justin Knox shot Metro Officer Aaron Richter at the Auburn Manor Apartment complex.
Synopsis: Justin Knox was banned from the Auburn Manor for a previous offense. On August 9th 2014 approx. 11:40 pm he went on to the property of Auburn Manor property, after he was banned from a previous incident.
Metro Enforcement officers Aaron E. Richter & Joseph A Naser were working together that night patrolling the Auburn Manor complex from 8 pm until 2 am. This was only the 5th night on the job for Mr. Naser, with Metro Enforcement. Mr. Richter was armed with a gun and Mr. Naser was armed with a taser, as they patrolled the Auburn Manor that night.
Metro Enforcement officers heard music coming from a vehicle and recognized the vehicle and saw a man fitting the description of Mr. Knox who was wearing a white shirt and a pair of shorts. Officer Richter knew Mr. Knox was banned from a previous incident. The Metro officers waited by a nearby dumpster and watched him from the shadows.
Justin Knox asked a man that was walking nearby if he saw Metro, the man looked at the Metro officers hiding behind the dumpster nearby and Metro Enforcement shook their heads at the man to tell Mr. Knox he had not seen Metro. He then told Justin Knox he had not seen them.
Justin Knox believed the man and parked his vehicle next to the dumpster the Metro Officers were hiding behind, in front of the playground area and got out of his vehicle. Just feet from the Metro Enforcement Officers.
Metro Enforcement officers approached Mr. Knox since he was banned from the property. The Metro Enforcement Officers told Mr Knox they wanted to see his hands and was going to be arrested for trespassing, and Mr. Knox replied “F*ck You” and went back into his vehicle, a Black 2000 4-Door Chevy Impala that he arrived in and then fled at a high rate of speed.
While fleeing, he stopped and approached the man who lied to him about not seeing Metro and had a brief exchange of words. Then fled southbound on Johnston.
The Metro officers talked about the incident with each other for approx. 2 minutes. Then were walking back to their office at 4104/4212 Auburn st on the 2nd floor.
Approx. 4-6 shots rang out a short time later. The suspect was using a 9mm Luger CPX model pistol with a serial number of 130385 that was purchased at the Bullet Stop Gun Shop just a few weeks prior for $345.00.
Metro Officer Aaron Richter was shot in the left arm in the bicep area and in the left leg near the knee area which hit an artery. He screamed into his radio “Shots Fired, Shots Fired, Officer Down Roll City” They hid behind a parked vehicle while the shots rang out in quick succession. The gunshots stopped.
Officer Joseph A Naser helped his partner Officer Aaron E. Richter who was shot. He helped him walk between the building and into 4104 Auburn. Where they went inside and waited for emergency personnel.
Metro Enforcement Sergeant advised the officers they needed to call 911 themselves. While shot, Officer Aaron E. Richter called 911 from his own cell phone he had on him. While on the phone with 911, he blacked out and Officer Joseph A. Naser took the cell phone and advised 911 what happened and they needed an ambulance.
Metro Enforcement officer Aaron Richter was taken to Rockford Memorial Hospital emergency room into Trauma room #1 to be treated.
Officers investigated the scene and recovered 4 shell casings from a nearby treeline, just south of the parking lot. Shell casings were recovered from the backyard of the residence at 2319 Arthur ave. Officer Richter, the nearby vehicle he was taking cover behind and a building were all struck by the gunfire.
During the investigation and trying to find Mr. Knox, the police were just a few feet from him at one time but were unable to capture him that day.
Police recovered the gun used in the shooting. They found it during a traffic stop near 7th ave and Miller. The gun was recovered from under the passenger seat, that Raymond A Smith was sitting in. Mr. Smith denied the gun being his, but was charged with the following (Photo below)
Police got a tip that Mr. Knox might be staying with his mother down in Georgia. He was later arrested in Snailsville, GA. and then transported back to Winnebago County Jail.
During that time the police sent the evidence to the lab to be tested. Shell casings and DNA. The results came back positive for shell casings that were used in the gun that was used to shoot Officer Richter.
Final: Justin Knox was sentenced to 45 years in prison for aggravate battery, armed habitual criminal, aggravated discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. After a bench trial in front of Judge Fernando Engelsma.
Knox’s defense claimed that Knox fired the gun to intimidate Richter, but had no intention of actually harming him.
“He messed up by actually hitting the officer. He didn’t mess up by shooting at him. He messed up by hitting him. And the evidence shows that he wasn’t trying to kill him,” the defense said.
Justin Knox projected parole date is 06/19/2053