Knox County deputy shoots at teen suspect during pursuit

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A pursuit involving a reportedly stolen car ended with a deputy shooting at the vehicle and the driver being arrested after he drove on railroad tracks.

It started just after midnight Friday, August 3 when Peoria County deputies were pursuing a tan 2008 Chevrolet Equinox westbound on Interstate 74.  The Chevy was reportedly stolen in Washington, Illinois. 

Peoria County deputies reportedly ended their pursuit when speeds went over 100 miles per hour.

Knox County deputies, set up at the county line, began pursuing the Equinox when it allegedly passed them at a high rate of speed.  The Equinox then exited the interstate to exit 51/Knoxville. 

A deputy who had blocked the road at the top of the exit ramp said he approached the Equinox on foot.  When the Equinox began backing up, the deputy fired his service weapon at the vehicle.  The Equinox then traveled forward again and turned onto northbound lanes of County Highway 9.

When it got to  East Galesburg, the Equinox turned onto the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks.  It traveled about 75 feet before it stopped.

Police said Isaiah Royer, 17, of Washington, Illinois was driving the Equinox during the pursuit.  He was the only person in the vehicle.  Police said Royer was not injured during the pursuit or shots fired incidents.

Royer was arrested and charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, trespass on a railroad right-of-way, no valid driver’s license, failure to reduce speed and disregarding a stop sign. 

Royer was held in the Knox County Jail. 

As part of customary protocol, the Illinois State Police Integrity Task Force will investigate the deputy discharging his weapon.  The deputy was placed on administrative leave until the task force and the sheriff’s department complete their investigations.

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