The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council said in a statement released Friday that they want the Rock Island County State's Attorney's Office to add a charge of attempted murder against a man who police say fired at East Moline officers in May.
“Darold Strunk pointed a gun at police officers and fired. That's attempted murder, and that's the charge he should be facing. Any lesser charge diminishes the value of police officers' lives,” Executive Director Shawn Roselieb said.
“While we applaud (acting) State's Attorney (Patricia) Castro's finding that the police officers were justified when they returned fire against Mr. Strunk, you only need to look at what tragically happened on Tuesday (June 25) in Fulton County to realize what firing a weapon at a law enforcement officer can mean. We urge the State's Attorney to add attempted murder to the list of charges against Mr. Strunk, and to seek the maximum sentence upon his conviction.”
Strunk, 25, of Rock Island, is charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison.
According to a report released Friday by Castro, the May 25 incident began when a vehicle connected to an active Moline Police Department be-on-the-lookout alert fled from an East Moline officer during a traffic stop. After a pursuit, East Moline Police officers Ryan Clark and Logan Wolfe stopped the vehicle in the area of 40th Avenue and 7th Street in East Moline.
The driver, Mackenzie Paxton, immediately complied with officers' commands to shut off the vehicle, according to the state's attorney's report. But the front-seat passenger, 25-year-old Darold Strunk got out of the vehicle and began firing a pistol at Clark, after ignoring verbal commands to drop the weapon, the report said. Clark and Wolfe returned fire at Strunk, and he was taken into custody after a short foot chase. He was hospitalized for a few days for non-life-threatening injuries, then released into the custody of the Rock Island County Jail.
In her report, Castro concluded the officers were justified in their use of force and would not face charges.
No other details about the incident will be released while charges are pending, Castro said.