Tara Becker
Sauk Valley Media
SAVANNA, Ill.   — A Savanna police officer was justified in using deadly force when he shot at a Gardner woman during a traffic stop last month, state police said Nov. 27 in a news release.
Officer Jacob Stillings, a 5-year veteran of the department, returned to work Nov. 20 after being placed on administrative leave after the shooting, the release said.
Findings from the month-long investigation were forwarded to Carroll County State’s Attorney Scott Brinkmeier, who cleared Stillings of any wrongdoing.
According to state statute, a person is justified in using deadly force when he or she reasonably believes  such force “is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another,” the release said.
According to state police:
About 4:07 a.m. Oct. 24, Stillings stopped a couple in a Jeep Cherokee for a traffic violation on state Route 84, about 3 miles south of Savanna.
As Stillings was taking the man into custody, Allana Hill, 21 of Gardner,  drove off, drove back, hit the man and took off again. Stillings, who was not struck, shot at the Jeep, hitting it and Hill; who crashed into a house in rural Carroll County a short time later.
Hill and the man, whom her family identified as her partner, Kevin H. Belgarde, 41, were taken to Mercy Hospital in Clinton, Iowa. Belgarde later was taken to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford.
State police Lt. Kurt Cavanaugh said Tuesday that Belgarde has since been transferred to another facility; he did not know where or what his condition is.
Charges have not yet been filed against Belgarde, Cavanaugh said.
A baby found in the back seat of the Jeep was turned over to the Iowa Department of Human Services.†
Stillings was taken to CGH Medical Center in Sterling, treated for bruises and scrapes, and released.
Hill is charged with aggravated battery, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated reckless driving, aggravated battery using a deadly weapon, aggravated fleeing, attempting to elude, and driving under the influence of drugs.
She was in Carroll County Jail on $200,000 bond until earlier this month, when she was involuntarily committed to a hospital, according to online court records.
Hill’s family in  Kansas  told Sauk Valley Media last month that she was suffering from postpartum psychosis.