The three men who opened fire on employees at the Casino Queen on Sept. 17 drove off in a reportedly carjacked Dodge Charger before abandoning it in East St. Louis, according to court records.
And now, an iPhone left in that Dodge Charger by a victim during the carjacking might help police identify those robbers.
The men robbed the casino in the early morning hours and made off with money after shooting an unarmed security guard, Captain Larry Weber, a volunteer firefighter with the New Athens Fire Department. He survived, and is “making progress every day,” according to a GoFundMe page established to help cover his medical costs.
Here is Illinois State Police Sgt. Elbert Jennings’ account of surveillance footage captured during the robbery, and the subsequent investigation:
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Three men men entered the valet of the Casino Queen in the 2 a.m. hour, ordering the employees to get on the ground while firing shots — one man stayed behind and held the guards at gunpoint.
The other two entered the casino toward the cashiers booth, with one man leaping over the counter.
“While the suspect was entering the Cashiers Booth, Casino Queen security guard approached the booth and was shot,” Jennings wrote.
After shooting the unarmed guard, the man behind the counter opened multiple drawers and started filling bags with money.
The three men then left the casino the same way they came in — police were able to get the license plate on camera of the black Dodge Charger they drove off in.
While the suspect was entering the Cashiers Booth, Casino Queen security guard approached the booth and was shot.
Illinois State Police Sgt. Elbert Jennings
Several hours later, police found the abandoned Dodge Charger in East St. Louis at Exchange Avenue and 17th Street.
“Money was located on Exchange Ave. just outside the rear driver’s door,” Jennings wrote.
Investigators spoke with two men who told them the car was stolen the day prior to the robbery in St. Louis on Manhattan Street. One of the men said they were in the car, parked outside of an apartment building, when the driver opened the door and saw a “tall and thin” masked man approach from behind.
The two exited the vehicle, they told police, and began running. One of them left his iPhone in the car and Jennings applied for a search warrant for information regarding the iPhone, including the phone’s various locations the day prior and the day of the robbery.
CrimeStoppers is offering a $26,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest of the suspects. People can contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.
Staff reporter Kara Berg contributed to this report.