MORRIS, IL – Hours after the Grundy County Coroner’s Office ruled a mother’s death a homicide, Grundy County State’s Attorney Russell Baker, has released a report on the fatal shooting of 40-year-old Alivia L. Schwab by a Morris Police Department officer on September 29, was ruled legally justified.
According to the report, Schwab, who has been reportedly recently released from the Bourbonnais Terrace Mental Health Facility and experiencing a psychiatric crisis at the time of the incident, was shot after failing to comply with police orders to drop a knife during a confrontation.
Reports go on to say the incident unfolded after Schwab, struggling with her mental health and the loss of child custody, contacted a local mental health facility expressing a desire to return. Reports indicate Schwab was agitated, making threats to harm herself and carrying a nine-inch chef’s knife. Despite efforts by mental health professionals and law enforcement to de-escalate the situation, Schwab confronted officers while armed, leading to the use of deadly force.
Officers responding to the distress call, repeatedly instructed Schwab to disarm, resorting to gunfire only as she advanced towards officers while allegedly ignoring commands and posing an immediate threat. Baker’s statement outlined the Illinois law governing the use of deadly force by police, emphasizing the decision to shoot was in line with the statutes.
The State’s Attorney’s preliminary investigation included video evidence, witness statements, and reports from the Illinois State Police and Grundy County Sheriff’s Deputies. While the report noted that the State Police investigation is ongoing, no further action is expected barring new evidence.
This tragic incident highlights the challenges law enforcement faces with mental health crises and the split-second decisions officers must often make. The Morris community grieves the loss, with renewed calls for enhanced crisis intervention training and support for mental health services.