A State Police investigation found that a Bloomington Police officer's use of deadly force against homeowner Stephen Bethea at 8 Melrose Court on March 13 was justified because they said Bethea pointed a loaded revolver at the officers. (Paul Morello/WJBC)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling has released autopsy details surrounding the March shooting death of a man by a Bloomington Police officer.
56-year old Stephen Bethea was shot on March 13 during a domestic dispute at 8 Melrose Court. Kimmerling said toxicology tests show Bethea died with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.469, nearly six times the legal limit. The shooting is formally classified as a homicide.
According to State Police investigators, the officer ordered the suspect to drop a gun he was holding multiple times before he pointed the weapon at police. State's Attorney Jason Chambers said the State Police report found the gun Bethea had was loaded.
Chambers considered the shooting to be within the officer's right to defend himself. That officer has been serving actively since the incident.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at email@example.com.