Two days after a 32-year-old man was found with a gunshot wound in his car on Freedom Drive, St. Clair County sheriff’s deputies have arrested and charged a suspect connected to the shooting.
Shortly after midnight Saturday, authorities arrested William T. “Travis” Rupert, 25, of the 100 block of Chase Park Drive in Belleville. Belleville police officers and sheriff’s deputies found Rupert at a MotoMart gas station in Swansea, where they took him into custody without incident, according to the sheriff’s department.
Officers had identified Rupert as a potential suspect in the shooting and searched for him at his previous addresses.
Deputies were called to the 100 block of Freedom Drive at 10:16 p.m. Thursday in reference to a person shot in a vehicle. The sheriff’s department said they found the 32-year-old inside a Pontiac Grand Am, which had struck a mailbox. Authorities believe the man was shot after he met with the suspect to buy cannabis. A struggle ensued after the suspect tried to rob the man, and the man was shot in the process, the sheriff’s department said.
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Authorities said the suspect ran from the scene.
The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office charged Rupert with aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, a Class X Felony. Other charges are possible as the investigation continues and lab results return. Judge Heinz Rudolf set Rupert’s bond at $250,000. Rupert remains in custody at the St. Clair County Jail.