A woman in her 70s was shot multiple times and underwent emergency surgery after an armed robbery late Thursday morning in downtown Caseyville.
Caseyville Police Chief Jose Alvarez said someone was shot repeatedly at 11:28 a.m. Thursday inside Ferguson TV and Satellite, 105 N. Main St. in Caseyville. The gunman fled and was arrested at 12:36 p.m. at 300 Brookside Drive, several blocks south of the television business. Alvarez said the suspect is a 32-year-old Caseyville resident, and authorities will seek charges against him Friday.
Police at 1:30 p.m. were still searching a line of woods where the weapon was believed to have been tossed, said Brooklyn Police Chief Tony Tomlinson. He said a good amount of evidence was recovered from the shooting scene and a lot of witnesses came forward to help police quickly arrest a suspect.
James Berghoff, 18, who lives across the street from the coin laundry, was in his garage working on his car when he saw the suspect come up Brookside Drive and run into the Caseyville Laundry. He said the man was wearing all black, including shoes, a heavy coat and watch cap.
"I never saw him come out," Berghoff said.
Mayor Leonard Black confirmed the victim is a woman in her 70s. He said the woman and her husband "have been in Caseyville for as long as I can remember. They are extremely nice people who don't cause any problems at all.
"This is one of the saddest situations ever," Black added. "How can you explain somebody coming into their business and shooting an innocent person like that?"
The woman was out of surgery and listed in stable condition late Thursday.
Police in tactical gear and with riot guns were active at the Caseyville Laundry, which is at the corner of Brookside Drive and Illinois 157. Initial police calls reported suspects headed south on Illinois 157.
Caseyville and Illinois State Police had yellow crime scene tape around Ferguson TV. They were canvassing the neighborhood and looking in the side yard of the business, which is across the street from the Dairy Haven on Illinois 157 in Caseyville.
More than 25 police cars lined Illinois 157 from departments including St. Clair County sheriff, Belleville, Brooklyn, Collinsville, Washington Park, Fairmont City, state police and conservation police and O'Fallon. A Washington Park police officer with a police dog was working Brookside Drive next to the laundry. Caseyville and Belleville also had canines at the scene. Officers earlier put out a call for a police dog trained to find guns.
Illinois 157, which is also known as Main Street in Caseyville, was closed from O'Fallon Drive to the railroad tracks.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.