DeShawn Tatum had just celebrated his 25th birthday on Monday, March 22, when he was shot and killed by Rock Island police officers on Thursday, April 1 — less than two weeks later.

According to investigators, Tatum hijacked a car at the Chicken Shack on 11th Street, then dragged some officers while trying to get away before finally backing into the nearby gas station.

That’s when officers opened fire, striking Tatum in the head and chest, killing him.

Police say three officers were injured during the incident.

A makeshift memorial was built for Tatum the day of his death, outside of the Chicken Shack, where the shooting took place.

The following week, the Rock Island NAACP responded to Tatum’s death with a statement and exclusive interview.

Earlier this week, a group honored Tatum outside the Rock Island County Justice Center.

Other events throughout the past week that honored Tatum included his funeral service, which happened exactly a week after his death.

On Friday, the community came together to pray and march for justice.


Family and friends gathered to say a final goodbye to 25-year-old DeShawn Tatum on Friday, April 9.

Local 4’s Ryan Risky reported emotions were “still running high” during the ceremony, held at the Word of Life Church in Rock Island.

He added traffic was backed up on 8th Avenue as hundreds of people came out to pay their respects to Tatum.

In his obituary, Tatum is described as a father who loved to spend time with his kids.

The Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office released a statement last week on the state of the investigation into Tatum’s death, exactly two weeks prior. According to the statement, they were still conducting interviews with witnesses, and any footage of the shooting was not yet going to be released.

Watch the entire funeral ceremony for Tatum below.

Prayer, march

A march to celebrate a life and fight for justice.

That’s how family and friends of a man killed by police during a confrontation exactly two weeks prior wanted to make sure he’s not forgotten.

On Friday, April 16, a march started in downtown Rock Island with a prayer outside of the courthouse.

People walked to the police station, holding Tatum’s picture up to the windows, and then they marched two miles to gather outside of UnityPoint – Trinity Rock Island, where Tatum was taken after being shot by officers on April 1.

Police say Tatum was wanted by authorities and considered armed and dangerous.

They add he tried to run from them and get away in a stolen car.

Tatum’s family and friends say they want answers about what happened that night and to keep his memory alive.

“Clearly, y’all can see that DeShawn had a lot of love, lots of friends and family. He took care of everybody. We don’t want anybody thinking that he was a bad person,” said Tatianna Pullman, march organizer. “Until we get justice, if y’all want us to, we’ll come out every single day. We won’t stop. We want everybody to know that DeShawn was the type of person who took care of his people. He cared for everybody, even if he didn’t know you. He could have met you tomorrow or yesterday. He’d take care of you today.”

The Rock Island County State’s Attorney announced plans earlier this week to show police body cam footage to Tatum’s family before releasing it to the media. We reached out to the prosecutor’s office for an update on Friday and have since not heard back.

They say, throughout the investigation, they will keep the public as informed as possible without risking the integrity of the investigation, adding, “This was a very tragic event for our entire community, and we ask for patience as this careful process unfolds.”