Belleville shooting leads to overnight standoff in Alorton

News-DemocratJuly 6, 2013 

A home invasion and shooting just before 10 p.m. Friday in Belleville led to a chase and a standoff that ended early Saturday in an Alorton apartment complex.

Police swarmed the Greystone Apartment Complex in the 200 block of Old Missouri Avenue in Alorton. They were looking for a man who witnesses helped them identify as the individual who broke into a Belleville woman's home in the 1200 block of North 17th Street. The victim, whose name was not released, is an acquaintance of the suspect.

The standoff ended at 4:45 a.m. Saturday when a police tactical unit breached the door at the suspect's home and took him into custody.

Michael D. Cooper, 35, of Alorton, was charged Saturday with home invasion with a firearm.

For three weeks, he had been living in Apt. A of the Greystone Apartments, 241 Old Missouri Ave. He is originally from Alorton.

Police were called at 9:57 p.m. Friday about shots being fired in the 1200 block of North 17th Street in Belleville, according to Belleville Police Capt. John Moody.

While officers were rushing to the home, a second call came in about a home invasion. The homeowner was familiar with Cooper, possibly a former girlfriend, police said.

There was blood on the sidewalk in front of the home, but Moody said he did not know whether it was the suspect's.

The suspect fled in a blue Mercury van and police tracked it to the apartment complex near the intersection of Illinois 15 and Interstate 255.

Moody said police were able to gather information at the Belleville crime scene about the suspect's vehicle. He said a Belleville police officer located the van at the apartment complex.

Police set up a perimeter by 10:31 p.m. Friday.

The standoff continued through the night, with officers trying to coax out Cooper. His mother was at the apartment and also failed to convince him to surrender, police said.

Officers finally forced their way in at 4:45 a.m. Saturday, Moody said.

"We tried other ways to get him out. We breached the door and a window. We observed him inside through the window and took him into custody," Moody said.

Cooper wounded himself and was taken to a hospital, Moody said. Cooper's bail was set at $500,000.

Other residents were evacuated and spent the night across the street from the apartment complex.

Neighbor Janet Davis said there were lots of police and they worked hard to get Cooper out.

"You could hear the glass breaking when they went into the apartment. It was a loud popping noise. You knew it was glass," Davis said.

"I'm happy with the way they handled it. No one was hurt. They did a good job of helping keep everyone safe," Davis said.

Davis' daughter, Shandreya Hill, said she was outside with others when police arrived. They told everyone to go inside.

"Then later they told us to go back out," Hill said, and they were taken across the street.

Lakada Anderson was asleep with her 2- and 5-year-old children when she was evacuated.

"There were, like, 500 police out here," Anderson said.

Alorton, Belleville, Centreville, St. Clair County sheriff's deputies and members of the St. Clair County Special Response Team were at the apartments. Officers used an armored vehicle during part of the operation.

Davis said, "I've never seen anything like that. That thing kept talking. They took their time and tried to get him to come out."

Moody commended all of the officers who were involved for "standing by and being patient. It was just outstanding police work."

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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