A Cahokia man died Monday afternoon shortly after police found him laying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. Cahokia Police Chief Dave Landmann said Traveon Hunter, 29, of Cahokia, was shot and killed near 152 St. James. Landmann said Hunter died as a result of his injuries at an area hospital. No motive has been given for the shooting.
Police responded to the area after receiving a shots fired call at 2:37 p.m., Landmann said. The incident took place on an unseasonably warm day just before children in the neighborhood were set to take part in Halloween night festivities.
Superman and Wonder Woman gave their best smiles as they stood on the front porch. The crime fighters were getting their picture taken before going out in the neighborhood for a little Trick or Treating fun on Halloween. The grade school-aged children were oblivious to the scene being played out no more than 30 yards from where they stood.
Had the kids decided to look across the street, they would have seen Cahokia police and a crime scene investigator from the Illinois State Police sifting through the scene of the fatal shooting.
A neighbor who tried to help Hunter before emergency responders arrived at the scene knew his injuries were serious.
“I checked his pulse,” said Charlotte Cotton, who lives across the street from where the shooting took place. “He was on the ground. At first, he had a pulse, but then he was gone. ... He was bleeding out of his nose and mouth.”
Cotton said Hunter lived in the neighborhood and was known to many who gathered around the yellow crime tape that was draped around 150 St. James and 152 St. James. She has lived in the neighborhood, which was the site of a fire last week, for five years. She was not surprised the shooting happened where it did. She and other neighbors said 150 St. James, a vacant house, is a trouble spot for the neighborhood.
“There is drugs, guns, alcohol and people hanging over here that don’t even stay over here,” she said. “(The problem) isn’t with the people in the area, it’s the people that come hang at this house right here (as she pointed to 150 St. James). They gamble all the time there.”
Cotton said reports of gunshots are frequent in the area. Monday’s shooting happened as Cotton was getting her daughter off the school bus. She said she heard the shots and immediately went into her residence. She came back out and saw people running from the scene.
Some children dressed in costume eventually came to the scene to watch police work the area. Cotton was thankful no children were harmed.
“The kids are ready to go have fun,” she said. “Some people don’t let their kids go out at night and they have to trick or treat early. This could have happened to one of those little ones.”