The Illinois State Police is conducting an investigation into the July 5 shooting death of 53-year-old Edwin “Beanie” Esker by a Monroe County Sheriff’s Department deputy following a domestic dispute in Maeystown. Esker allegedly approached the deputy with a running chainsaw and refused commands to drop it, Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said.
“At approximately 7:51 p.m., the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department Dispatch Center received a telephone call requesting assistance at 1522 Mill Street, Maeystown, due to a domestic violence situation which was in progress,” Rohlfing said.
The female 9-1-1 caller, Esker’s ex-wife, Linda, said Edwin was pounding on the door to her residence, attempting to gain entry. She also told dispatchers Esker had a chainsaw and had threatened to harm her with it.
Two sheriff’s deputies arrived at the remote property near Maeystown and encountered Esker after coming around a sharp corner on the lane. He was wielding the chainsaw, Rohlfing said.
The female, who remained on the phone with emergency dispatchers, said Esker was approaching the sheriff’s deputies with the live chainsaw.
According to Rohlfing, as deputies exited their marked patrol vehicles they gave Esker several verbal commands to drop the chainsaw, which Esker ignored. While in close proximity to the deputies, Esker raised the operating chainsaw and began to approach them in an aggressive manner. One deputy fired three rounds from his service handgun and struck Esker three times, stopping the threat.
Monroe County EMS and Survival Flight helicopter were contacted to evaluate Esker. After assessment of Esker by Monroe County EMS, Survival Flight was cancelled and the ISP Crime Scene Unit was contacted. Monroe County Coroner Bob Hill responded to the scene and declared Edwin Esker deceased.
An official request was also made to ISP to complete an independent investigation of the incident. ISP responded to the scene and are conducting the investigation. The deputy, whose name has not been released, was not injured and is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.
Edwin and Linda Esker divorced in 2013, court records show, but they lived on the same property in separate quarters. Their land is located in a wooded area along a rock lane off Mill Street, up the hill from the main village of Maeystown.