Government

Shooting death of man who fired at Davenport police was justified, Scott County attorney concludes

32 bullets were fired at undercover pickup, injuring one officer

Three Davenport police officers were driving this undercover pickup early June 1 when 32 shots were fired at it. A 23-ye
Three Davenport police officers were driving this undercover pickup early June 1 when 32 shots were fired at it. A 23-year-old Rock Island, Ill., man was shot and killed when an officer returned fire. The Scott County attorney this week ruled the shooting was justified. (Davenport police photo)

DAVENPORT — The shooting death of Marquis Tousant the morning of June 1 following riots in Davenport has been ruled a justifiable shooting by police, Scott County Attorney Mike Walton announced this week.

An investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation determined Tousant, 23, of Rock Island, Ill., was among the seven men who shot at an unmarked Davenport police Ford F150 pickup at 2:55 a.m.

Three Davenport police officers were in the truck, patrolling in the 1400 block of Myrtle Street, looking for vehicles that had been involved in shootings earlier in the evening.

One woman had been shot and killed at Walmart on West Kimberly Road at 11:12 p.m. Two groups of people had exchanged gunfire outside Necker’s Jewelers, 4007 E. 53rd St., at 12:13 a.m.

When the three officers turned down an alley, shots were fired at their pickup, injuring Sgt. Scott Lansing, who was driving. Bullets shattered windows and pierced the pickup doors. One of the bullets struck the headrest behind Lansing’s head.

Lt. Greg Behning returned fire through the back window toward the gun flashes as Lansing, who was having trouble driving because of being hit, accelerated.

Investigators said 32 rounds were fired at the pickup.

Tousant, one of the shooters, died of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen, though his death was not discovered until investigators returned to the scene.

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Because the gunfire happened so quickly, officers had no time to activate their body cameras, so there is no squad car or body camera video of the shooting.

Other squad cars arrived and chased a black Pontiac Grand Prix speeding from the area. The chase reached 90 mph before the Grand Prix crashed.

Six men in their 20s and 30s from Rock Island and Davenport were arrested. Police said they found seven firearms and ammunition in the Grand Prix.

When officers went back to the area of the shooting, they found Tousant’s body. He was lying on a Taurus 9 mm Luger semi-automatic pistol, with nine 9 mm shell casings near the body.

After examining the weapons at the DCI crime lab, investigators determined that of the nine weapons recovered — seven from the Grand Prix, one that was thrown from the Grand Prix during the chase and the one under Tousant’s body — four were fired at the police pickup.

Investigators determined a bullet fragment that struck Lansing’s holster, as well as the bullet that struck him in the left leg, came from Tousant’s gun. At least three other bullets fired from Tousant’s gun struck the truck.

The bullet fragment from Tousant’s body had characteristics similar to the bullets fired from Lt. Behning’s gun.

Given the evidence, the deadly force used by Behning was justified, Scott County Attorney Walton said in a Thursday news release.

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