'We are looking for Kenneth Walton': Police seek person of interest in ESL homicide

News-DemocratFebruary 3, 2014 

While city leaders met inside City Hall to focus on their 40 days of nonviolence campaign and the programs that they have lined up, police investigators worked out of the big red and black St. Clair County Mobile Command bus that they parked on 71st street, the site of the city's first homicide.

Police Chief Michael Floore said investigators have identified a person of interest that they want to question in connection with the death of Derundarae C. Smith, the 19-year-old man who was killed Saturday and later found in a field on 71st Street.

"We are looking for Kenneth Walton," Floore said. Walton is 22 years old and is a resident of East St. Louis, Floore said. Police have not identified a motive for the murder, he said.

"Investigators canvassed the neighborhood trying to encourage people to get involved. We want them to talk to the police if they know anything. When the police and the community work together, we have greater success at catching the perpetrator. Our priority here is to capture the person who took the young man's life. We do not know what led to the murder," Floore said.

And while city leaders were at City Hall, someone was shot three times on 18th Street. Police said the victim's wounds are not life threatening. And, Floore said police were nearby when the shooting happened and "we were able to get someone in custody for that shooting. We do not know the motive for the shooting," he said. The shooting happened at 4:30 p.m.

Shortly afterwards, a man was shot in the arm at 26th Street.

"We have two people in custody for that," he said.

This was the 10th day of the 40 days that city has called for there to be no violence.

"We can't give up. We have to push our message and we have to provide the people with better alternatives. We have to teach them that we should be our brother's keepers. We have to teach people that violence is not the way to solve a dispute," Floore said.

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