Tuesday, July 21, 2009
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Shooting at Scully Park

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(Original report posted 11:07 p.m. Monday. Updated Tuesday morning.)

[July 21, 2009]  Scully Park was the scene of a shooting on Monday evening. Reports are that a lone gunman identified as Michael C. Knuth, a Lincoln man with address unknown, was stopped by Lincoln police officers at the southwest corner of the park, where a gunbattle ensued.

caption: Michael C. Knuth

An earlier call to police, at roughly 7:45 p.m., reported an attempted armed robbery with a shot being fired in the vicinity of the park, causing multiple patrol cars to be in the vicinity.

Logan County State's Attorney Michael McIntosh said that after the botched robbery, Knuth made his way onto the porch of a home near the park and that the resident agreed to drive Knuth to an unknown location on Third Street to remove him from his property. The name of the resident is being withheld at this time.

It was while the two were at the intersection of Decatur and Kickapoo streets that two Lincoln police officers in separate vehicles stopped the truck. When Knuth came out of the pickup truck's passenger side with his gun drawn, officers opened fire, hitting the gunman multiple times.

State's attorney McIntosh did not know how many times Knuth was hit by police fire and preferred to say "multiple shots" rather than a specific number.

McIntosh said that Knuth was transported to St. John's Hospital in Springfield, and he had heard that Knuth had undergone surgery for at least one of his gunshot wounds. At last report, the state's attorney said he was informed that Knuth will survive his gunshot wounds.

McIntosh went on to say that one of the patrol cars had their video camera on and that excellent evidence in the shooting was filmed by the camera. He confirmed that no one else, including the resident forced to drive Knuth, was hurt.

The state's attorney said that an Illinois State Police unit from Springfield was called in, and when they began to investigate the botched armed robbery, a second ISP unit out of Peoria came to handle the scene of the shooting.

Auxiliary from the Logan County Sheriff's Department cordoned off a two-block area around the park as investigation units documented the evidence at the scene.

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In a late morning press conference, McIntosh said that the names of the two Lincoln officers are being withheld pending the investigation, but all indications are that the officers "conducted themselves appropriately and professionally."

McIntosh said that of the two unidentified officers,  one was on duty and the other was on administrative leave. After further questioning he went on to say that Chief Stuart Erlenbush was involved in the incident. Because of that circumstance, the state's attorney said that no further information would be forthcoming from the Lincoln Police Department.

When asked about possible charges, McIntosh said that none have been made and that "we have time." He then added that attempted murder would be one of the possible charges.

The gun used by Knuth was a stolen 9 mm automatic.

McIntosh said that at this time there are no details available as to whether Knuth fired at officers and that details of the possible armed robbery were "still sketchy."

The state's attorney said he would issue further reports on the case.

Knuth had a history of volatile behavior. He married Lorrie A. Hinkle Knuth, 46, of Lincoln on Sept. 8, 2008. They were divorced in October 2008. She charged mental cruelty.

Last Thursday he was arrested at his residence and charged with aggravated battery.


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