Metro-East News

Shots fired in west Belleville; Emge School lifts ‘soft lockdown’

The gunfire occurred outside an apartment on 74th Street, deputies said.
The gunfire occurred outside an apartment on 74th Street, deputies said. BND

Shots were fired early Tuesday morning during what law enforcement officers believe was a family dispute. No one was injured.

Officers responded to the call around 7 a.m. Tuesday outside an apartment building located at 901 S. 74th Street, according to St. Clair County Sheriff’s Investigator Scott Toth.

The incident put nearby Emge Junior High School and Harmony Intermediate School on a “soft lockdown,” which was lifted early Tuesday afternoon, according to Superintendent Pam Leonard. During the lockdown, students were kept inside the school building.

Leonard said the sheriff’s department reported that the lockdown was no longer necessary.

“I want to thank everyone for your patience. Students continued their day moving around inside the school and there was no imminent danger at any time,” Leonard said in an email.

Parents were notified of the lockdown by email.

Toth said the gunfire involved two cousins and a dispute over money.

“The victim was in a car to pay his cousin money back that he owed him,” Toth said. “But when he got there, the cousin wanted all of it. The cousin shot out the back window of the vehicle.”

The sheriff’s office said “multiple” shots were fired and that the suspect fled the scene. No one was in custody Tuesday.

Illinois State Police assisted the sheriff’s office in the investigation.

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