Des Plaines police officer fatally shoots axe-wielding man in apartment complex

A Des Plaines police officer shot and killed a man wielding an axe and behaving erratically Wednesday night in the northwestern suburb. 

Around 7:37 p.m., officers were dispatched to 1477 Thacker Street for reports of 55-year-old Scott J. MacDonald breaking things and "possibly having a psychotic breakdown," inside his apartment, according to police. 

Officers arrived at the scene and the situation escalated, leading to an officer shooting MacDonald in the common hallway of the building, police said.

Body-worn camera footage confirmed that MacDonald was armed with an axe and approached responding officers "in a threatening manner." 

MacDonald was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead, police said.


The Des Plaines police officer who fired the shots has been placed on paid administrative leave, per department policy. The officer had been working for Des Plaines police for two years. 

The Major Case Assistance Team is leading the investigation into the shooting. Body-worn camera footage will be released when it can no longer impact the investigation.