Police officers from several different agencies were led on a high-speed chase throughout Central Illinois on Monday afternoon. They were in pursuit of a suspect who allegedly robbed a Check n’ Go business earlier in the day in Bloomington and he also fit the description of four other bank robberies last month. But what happened after the chase would leave police investigating their own in the shooting death of the suspect.
The picture in one word is “Classic,” as in priceless, as in unbelievable, as in does this stuff really happen? In a photograph taken by The Pantagraph, it shows the suspect Robert Sylvester getting out of his vehicle, closing the door in one hand and a handgun in the other hand. And to top it off, the cigarette in his mouth as he approach the officers who were after him sold the picture to us.
There have been officer involved shootings before, in fact they’re not uncommon, its reasonable to believe that officers would have to defend themselves against armed suspects. But this one, with this picture makes it real. It almost looks as if its from a Hollywood production to be released in the theaters, but unfortunately it’s as real as it gets. The robberies Sylvester committed were real, the high-speed chase along Interstate 55 and Interstate 74 were real, and after he waved his gun after getting his tires blown out and was shot dead by police from Bloomington and Normal Police Departments was real too.
So what was he thinking? Was he really trying to get away? Did he think that even after his car was made undriveable, he would be able to shoot his way out of an arrest and likely conviction? But the most important question is did this guy have a death wish?
Not for nothin’, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we later find out that this guy was dying of cancer or something.