Northern Illinois man killed after firing on police with semi-automatic rifle

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ROCKFORD, Illinois — A northern Illinois man opened fire on police with a semi-automatic rifle and was killed by an officer who returned fire.

Illinois State Police Sgt. Sam Thomas says the officer "had no other choice."

Rockford police responding Friday to a call from the man's wife heard gunfire from inside the home and from the backyard.

Thomas says 41-year-old Mark T. Farrar fired on officers from an enclosed porch.

Thomas is lead investigator with a task force that investigates shootings involving police in Winnebago and Boone counties.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive, but Thomas tells the Rockford Register Star ( ) that Farrar was "despondent" about matters in his personal life.

Information from: Rockford Register Star,

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