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Family of wounded Decatur police sergeant reacts to officer-involved shooting | Main stories

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) – The morning of October 12th is one Andrew Witmer and his family will never forget.

Andrew Witmer, brother of Decatur Police Sgt. Timothy Witmer remembered hearing a loud knock from the front door. He looked outside and didn’t recognize the car in front of his house, but when he opened the door, he saw a familiar face.

“An off-duty detective came and knocked on my door. It woke me up from a deep sleep and the first words he said were, “Tim’s been shot, we’ve got to go.” “

>> The Macon County State’s Attorney considers the use of force “necessary.”

According to Andrew, his twin brother, Sgt. Timothy Witmer was shot in the arm, leg and back. One of the bullets missed the 12-year Decatur police veteran’s face by inches.

“It was so close that my brother’s eyeball had copper contamination that had to be removed a few days later.”

The family of Sergeant Timothy Witmer shared this photo of his face. He was found to have copper contamination in his eye, which had to be removed days after the shooting, according to the family.

That morning in the emergency room, Andrew took a photo of his brother’s blood-stained uniform before the Illinois State Police bagged it and took it into evidence. The photo went viral on Facebook and social networks.

Sergeant Wittmer.jpg

This is a photo of Sgt. Wittmer’s blood-stained form. The photo was shared by Decatur police and the family of Sgt. Witmer.

“I thought everyone should see this patch. This is what our city represents and its blood on it, but our streets are now red with that blood. We have indeed reduced the ability of our law enforcement agencies to respond to such calls. .”

>> More on the Oct. 12 officer-involved shooting.

Andrew is a former Decatur police officer. He told WAND News that he has been in law enforcement for 11 years, 5 of which were spent in Peoria as a Peoria County Sheriff’s Deputy. The remainder of his career was with the Decatur Police Department. Andrey was also involved in the officer-involved shooting July 2016. The Macon County State’s Attorney found his actions justified.

According to Decatur police, Sgt. Witmer is part of the department’s Community Action Team, or also known as the CAT Team. The team was created to remove illegal weapons from the streets. Andrew told WAND News that the team was formed after he left the department. Decatur police shared that since May of this year The CAT team captured 73 guns. On the morning of October 12, police said Jamantey Neal, the felon, had a gun, so police arrested him.

In the days after Oct. 12, Decatur police released him body/dash video camerao in the morning officer-involved shooting. In the video, police said Neal pulled a gun from his waistband and opened fire on the officers. One of those bullets hit Sgt. Witmer in hand. In the video, Sgt. Witmer is seen falling backwards and onto the ground.

– He almost died right there, on the street, – said Andrei.

Police said that during the shootout, Sgt. Witmer’s gun malfunctioned. Andrew told WAND News that not only was his brother lying on the ground, but his arm was destroyed and he could only use one eye.

Sgt Witmer's hand (blurred).jpg

The family shared a photo of Sgt. Witmer’s hand. WAND News blurred the photo.

“I wish everyone could see what his hand looked like when he was on the ground fighting for his life, fixing the malfunctioning drill. What most people who don’t know him don’t realize is that every time he puts his uniform on, he takes off his firearm and he does 10 drills in front of the mirror to practice that move and you can tell it was muscle memory. He has no conscious memory of it. It was instinct because he trained it in himself and that’s the level of dedication he puts into his craft.”

>> Decatur mayor’s son involved in officer-involved shooting.

Andrew told WAND News that in the days after the shooting, he became angry and frustrated. He believes there is a false narrative about police officers and wants people to know and understand that they are people who care deeply about the communities they serve. He wants people to remember his brother and law enforcement officers when they go to the polling stations.

“I want people to remember that you sent him there. You asked him for your help and he gave it to you. He has done this despite all the restrictions your politicians have placed on him, which makes it much more difficult. his work.”

Sergeant Wittmer's Purse

According to Decatur police, Sgt. Witmer was shot in the back. This Ridge Wallet stopped a bullet.

It will be some time before Sgt. Witmer can return to patrol. Andrei said his brother’s whole life changed because of the shooting. According to Andrew, Sgt. Witmer had planned to coach his 7-year-old son’s wrestling team, but now he can’t.

“He is not available to be a father. He is not available to be a wrestling coach. He is not available to be a husband. He limps around the house with bullet wounds in his arm, leg and face. not go to work. His whole life is disrupted.”

Andrei said that his brother likes to serve society. Sergeant Witmer is a 12-year veteran of the Decatur Police Department. He was a member of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force and was a school resource officer. Andrew said his brother was dedicated to working with the students, helping them with homework and coaching wrestling. He said his brother is eager and ready to return to DPD.

“I want people to know if he comes back to the Decatur Police Department, he really loves his job. He loves the people he works for and the people he serves,” he said.

Officer Austin Bowman, a 2-year veteran of the Decatur Police Department, was also shot on Oct. 12. He is at home and recovering.

Copyright 2022. WANDTV. All rights reserved.


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