Saturday night police say the owner of Marie's Pizza in
One pulled out a hand gun and demanded money from the owner, he and the sheriff's deputy then sprang into action.
"A lot of chaos in a very small room," said Winnebago County Sheriff Richard Meyers.
Police say a struggle between the owner and gunman began, during which time the sheriff's deputy used a gun from the owner to shoot the gunman.
"Was able to use that hand gun and shoot the four suspects that came into the store to do the robbery," said Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson.
Epperson says the other three robbery suspects attempted to runaway, but the sheriff's deputy fired more shots hitting all three before they exited the restaurant.
"The total incident took place inside the pizza parlor, there wasn't anything outside," said Epperson.
Police found all four men near the pizza parlor, the gunman was pronounced dead on the scene, the other three were taken to hospitals.
Nearby neighbors say they are having a hard time understanding why these four men were trying to rob the pizza parlor in the first place.
"A 16-year-old kids life is wiped out, over two or three hundred dollars," said Larry McCarty, who lives near the Marie's Pizza.
Rockford Police will continue to conduct the investigation. Chief Epperson says because a sheriff's deputy was involved, there's no conflict of interest. Both the police chief and Winnebago County Sheriff say it appears the off duty deputy acted appropriately.
"He was a victim of an armed robbery, in a very violent situation. I'm never gonna sit here and second guess what he did, he was there that night, it was violent," said Meyers.
Rockford Police say their investigation is still in its early stages and they are asking anyone with information in connected to this robbery or any other robbery that has taken place recently throughout the city to contact police.