News Local/State

Police Say Rantoul Robbery Suspect Appeared To Have Gun When He Was Shot


Champaign and Rantoul Police have identified the man fatally shot by a police sergeant after a six-hour standoff at a Rantoul motel as 31-year-old Darius Graves of Tennessee. A news release issued by the two departments says Graves held up the Hardee’s Restaurant on Sunday, according to video surveillance footage and evidence collected at his motel room.

Police say the video footage recorded by Hardee's surveillance cameras shows Graves holding an employee at gun-point, and demanding cash and other items.

Police acting on anonymous tips surrounded Graves, who barricaded himself in his room at the Rantoul Days Inn early Tuesday morning. They say that after six hours of negotiations, and the deploying of gas, Graves came out at around 10:40 AM, with what appeared to be a gun, running towards police and the motel stairwell. That’s when Champaign Police SWAT Team leader, Sergeant Colby Oleson, shot Graves once --- that shot was followed by less lethal rounds meant to take him into custody.

Graves was treated by officers and paramedics at the scene, and then taken to Carle Hospital in Urbana, where he was pronounced dead at 12:43 PM.

Illinois State Police are leading a multi-jurisdictional investigation into the case. They and Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb and Rantoul Police Chief Paul Farber were meeting with the families of both Graves and Sergeant Oleson.

According to the news release, Chief Cobb extended his condolences to both families. "We never want this to be the end result", said Cobb. "This is a complicated incident that saddens us all. Our sincere prayers go out to the Graves and Oleson families."

Champaign and Rantoul Police plan to release more details of the case at a news conference, set for Thursday at 11 AM.