An Illinois state's attorney has ruled that the Nov. 5 fatal shooting of a suspect by Rockford police officer Jamie Cox was justified. Officer Cox was also killed in the incident.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato laid out findings of the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force during a 75-minute news conference Thursday.

Investigators concluded that Cox, 30, and Patterson, 49, got into a physical struggle while Patterson was sitting behind the wheel after an early morning traffic stop. That’s when, they say, Patterson began to accelerate while Cox was leaning into the truck. Cox radioed dispatchers to request backup, saying Patterson was trying to flee.

Cox struggled with the gearshift, DNA evidence shows, trying unsuccessfully to force it into park before the white pickup truck Patterson was driving careened into a tree at 58 mph, Bruscato said.

Cox fired twice at close range, killing Patterson, Bruscato said. An autopsy showed Patterson was shot in the chest and back and also suffered injuries in the subsequent crash. Cox died of injuries suffered in the crash, the RRStar reports.

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