Psychological evaluation ordered for suspect in Bensenville cop shooting

  • Kiante J. Tyler

    Kiante J. Tyler

  • Steven Kotlewski

    Steven Kotlewski

 
 
Updated 12/6/2021 8:10 PM

A DuPage County judge Monday ordered a psychological evaluation of the man accused of shooting a Bensenville police officer, saying he had "bona fide doubt" the man is fit to stand trial.

Kiante J. Tyler, 21, was due to be arraigned on one count of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated battery. He is accused of shooting 10 times at officer Steven Kotlewski on Nov. 5, striking him nine times.

 

Tyler did not answer Judge Michael Reidy when the judge asked him whether he understood that assistant public defender Jennifer Maples was representing him.

"Are you understanding me?" Reidy asked.

Tyler was visibly shaking throughout the hearing. Reidy asked him, Maples and DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin if Tyler was taking any medication that would make him shake. Tyler didn't answer, and Berlin and Maples said they didn't know.

Maples said she had just been assigned the case Monday morning and had not met yet with Tyler.

"He's not even able to respond to me," Reidy said, ordering the evaluation.

Maples requested that Tyler also have an insanity evaluation.

Tyler's family members have said they believe he suffers from an undiagnosed mental illness.

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His mother had called the police around 1 a.m. Nov. 5 to ask them to help get Tyler to leave the apartment they shared. A 911 operator asked if Tyler had a gun, and the mother said she did not know. The operator advised police that Tyler had a valid firearm owner's identification card.

Kotlewski was the first officer to arrive. According to body-camera footage, Kotlewski entered the apartment through an open door and greeted the mother, who was sitting on a couch. He asked to speak to Tyler, and the mother called for Tyler to come out of a bedroom.

Kotlewski then greeted Tyler, who returned a greeting. Gunshots can then be heard. Only part of Tyler appears in the footage.

Kotlewski managed to leave the apartment, and other officers put tourniquets on his legs, carried him to a squad car and drove him to an ambulance. The bullets broke both thigh bones, severed one of his femoral arteries, and damaged both knees, a kidney, his spine and his colon. He underwent a half-dozen operations at Loyola University Medical Center and has been transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

On body-camera footage of another officer, Tyler's mother can be heard saying that there was something wrong with her son.

Tyler surrendered peacefully, according to the footage. Officers found a handgun on the kitchen counter.

Tyler is being held without bail at the DuPage County jail. His next court date is Jan. 4.

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