DECATUR — Thomas L. Gill, the Decatur man whose struggle to resist arrest led to a service weapon being fired and a police officer wounded, was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday.

Gill accepted a plea deal negotiated by his attorney, Scott Rueter, that saw him plead guilty to a charge of attempting to disarm a peace officer, a Class 2 felony.

A sworn affidavit about the case from Decatur Police said Gill, 23, had been pulled over by a police patrol in the 1300 block of North Union Street the night of Jan. 31. Gill was found to be wanted on an outstanding warrant and he began to fight and struggle with the police officers who moved in to arrest him, police said. 

Describing what happened in a previous hearing, Detective Brad Hall said that, at one point, Sgt. Scott Rosenberry had climbed on top of Gill in the driver’s seat as the man continued to refuse to get out. Gill was then described as reversing and smashing his vehicle into a police squad car and then ramming it forward into a house as the struggle with Rosenberry continued.

Hall said fellow officer Jason Danner had come to Rosenberry’s assistance and unholstered his service weapon before Gill was described as grabbing the gun with his left hand just before the weapon discharged.

Hall had said Gill then managed to seize the gun by the barrel again before he was finally subdued.

Rosenberry’s ballistic vest absorbed much of the bullet’s impact, but police reports from the time said he still needed hospital treatment and doctors had to close a laceration by using a “medical glue” to hold the edges together.

The Illinois State Police investigated the shooting, which is normal procedure when a service weapon gets fired, and passed their findings to Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott. Scott said Wednesday he had carefully reviewed the investigation and made the determination there had been no improper conduct by any of the police officers involved.

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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