ROCK FALLS — Preliminary autopsy results show that a driver fatally shot by a northern Illinois police officer during a traffic stop died from a gunshot wound.
Sauk Valley Media reports that Whiteside County Coroner Joe McDonald says 43-year-old Nathaniel T. “Nate” Edwards of Sterling was pronounced dead about an hour after the Friday night shooting. Toxicology results are pending. Rock Falls police say Edwards put the car in reverse and accelerated toward the officer following a “lengthy pursuit.”
Edwards’ niece, Melanie Ruff, says she believes her uncle didn’t have a weapon and didn’t pose a threat serious enough to warrant use of deadly force.
The Illinois State Police Integrity Task Force is investigating. The officer wasn’t identified and is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.