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Cops’ shooting of elderly man ruled homicide

A 95-year-old man was killed scuffle with police Saturday Victory Centre Park Forest.  |  Casey Toner~Sun-Times Media

A 95-year-old man was killed in a scuffle with police Saturday at the Victory Centre of Park Forest. | Casey Toner~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: August 31, 2013 6:20AM



The Cook County medical examiner’s office has ruled as a homicide the death of a 95-year-old Park Forest man who died after police used a stun gun on him and then shot him with a bean bag gun.

John Warna, 95, of the 100 block of Main Street, was pronounced dead at 2:30 a.m. Saturday at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, according to the medical examiner’s office.

It said an autopsy showed that Warna died from being shot with the bean bag gun — a 12-gauge shotgun that fires a small bag filled with lead shot and weighing about 1.4 ounces. It’s designed to produce minimal trauma to a person who’s judged a danger to himself or others and who does not require the use of deadly force.

Officers were called about 8:45 p.m. Friday to Victory Centre of Park Forest, an assisted living center, when Warna became combative with a private ambulance company’s personnel who were trying to involuntarily transport him for medical treatment, police said.

A written statement issued by Emily Powell, executive director of the center, said Warna displayed “unusually aggressive behavior” about 6:30 p.m., so they called his family and paramedics to transfer him to a hospital for further care.

Police said Warna was threatening facility staff and paramedics with a metal cane and a 2-foot metal shoehorn when officers arrived, refused to drop the items and then grabbed a 12-inch butcher knife.

The officers unsuccessfully tried to subdue Warna with a stun gun and then hit him with bean bag rounds, which caused him to drop the knife, according to police. They said he was conscious and talking when he was hospitalized.

The Illinois State Police Public Integrity Unit is reviewing the shooting incident.

“Our thoughts are with the family as we mourn the loss of one of our own,” said Maria Oliva, chief people officer for Victory Centre. “We ask all to respect the privacy of our residents’ home as they also mourn and remember their neighbor and friend.”



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