Fairview Heights Police have arrested two 14-year-olds in connection with a shooting that left one man in critical condition.
The shooting was reported Tuesday night at Longacre Ponds Apartments on Northbrook Circle in Fairview Heights.
Police said in a news release that they believe the teens were participating in a drug transaction and that they tried to rob a 21-year-old man from Belleville. The 21-year-old was shot in the forehead. He remained in critical but stable condition Thursday, police said.
Both suspects were being held awaiting charges at the St. Clair County Juvenile Detention Facility on Thursday morning. St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said his office filed a motion Thursday requesting the case be transferred to adult jurisdiction. That motion will be addressed at a hearing March 9.
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If the motion is granted, the teens’ names will be publicly available via the charging documents.
In their investigation, police said, they learned that the teenage suspects tried to rob the 21-year-old of drugs and cash. One of the teens shot the 21-year-old in the forehead as he was sitting in the driver’s seat of his vehicle, police said. A witness said the vehicle he was driving was an older, burgundy sedan.
After the man was shot, the vehicle accelerated out of control and struck a large landscaping rock. The vehicle came to a stop between two apartment buildings. The suspects then allegedly dragged the man from his vehicle and around the back of one of the apartment buildings. Police said the teens searched his body.
The two teens and the 21-year-old man were not residents of Longacre Ponds Apartments. Police said the three decided to meet in a parking lot area because it appeared to be isolated. However, multiple witnesses reported seeing the suspects. Police said some witnesses had tried to approach the suspects to see what had happened, but the two ran off. The witnesses called 911.
Police said they arrived at the apartments at around 6:20 p.m. and started investigating.
The shooting victim was taken to a St. Louis hospital. He was initially reported to be in “grave condition.” Police declined to release the identity of the victim.
The police department said it put out a “Code Red” alert Wednesday to businesses and residents in the vicinity of the shooting to look for possible witnesses. From the “Code Red” alert, police said they received calls from area businesses that had found surveillance video of the teens running in the area. Police said they also received calls from residents that revealed “vital evidence” leading to the arrest of the teenage suspects. Police said that while they followed up on 84 separate leads and executed 13 search warrants, detectives were able to recover the weapon assumed to be used in the shooting.
“This investigation was an example of the police and community partnership Fairview Heights is fortunate to have with our citizens,” the police department wrote in a news release. “Multiple citizens contacted police to give information about the incident, which aided the officers in finding those responsible so quickly. The Fairview Heights Police were also fortunate to have the assistance of the O’Fallon, Shiloh, Swansea and Collinsville Police Departments for sending investigators to aid our detectives in following up on numerous leads.”