The man who was shot outside the Cahokia Walmart early Monday evening and later died had been involved in a police pursuit earlier in the day, according to the Illinois State Police.
The man was identified as Jason P. Stringer, 35, of Centerville.
An unidentified Washington Park off-duty police officer fatally shot Stringer, who was driving his car toward the officer in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart on Camp Jackson Road on Monday. The officer fired several gunshots at the suspect’s vehicle and struck the suspect at least once, Cahokia Police Chief David Landmann said.
The man was able to drive off the parking lot and head about one mile east on Camp Jackson Road where he hit a median and crashed his car, according to police.
Landmann provided the following details about what led to the shooting:
The off-duty officer, a 53-year old white male, called the Cahokia Police Department about 4:50 p.m. Monday to report a man wanted for multiple felonies was seen entering the Walmart.
“The officer was on the Walmart parking lot when he observed a vehicle that had been involved in a pursuit earlier that day,” ISP Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. said in a press release. “The officer was also aware that Stringer had active warrants out for his arrest for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and aggravated fleeing and eluding.”
Just as two Cahokia police officers were arriving at the Walmart, Stringer and a female companion exited the Walmart and went to their vehicle, Dye said.
The off duty police officer and two Cahokia officers attempted to arrest Stringer. Stringer ran to his vehicle. The off-duty officer detained the unidentified female, Dye said.
Landmann also said the suspect was wanted for fleeing and eluding police officers and being a felon in possession of a weapon. All of the warrants together totaled more than $100,000 in bonds, he said.
When Cahokia police officers responded to the Walmart parking lot, “they located the suspect leaving the business,” Landmann said.
“The suspect ran from officers as they were attempting to take him into custody. The suspect then ran to his vehicle and attempted to leave the area as officers attempted to subdue him,” Landmann said.
The suspect struck a police vehicle and a pillar in front of the store. He also nearly struck several pedestrians, Landmann said.
Landmann said the suspect nearly struck the off-duty officer, who ended up fatally wounding him.
Before hitting the median about a mile from the store, the suspect struck other vehicles on the road as he was pursued by police officers.
An ambulance took the suspect to an area hospital, where he later died from a bullet wound he sustained.
Illinois State Police officers were called to investigate the officer involved shooting. Master Sgt. Mark Doiron said he could not identify the Washington Park police officer or two Cahokia officers who responded to assist.
“We are actively searching for surveillance footage of the area to aid in the investigation,” Doiron said
Doiron didn’t have a specific time frame for how long the investigation will take. But he said once the investigation is completed, the results will be submitted to the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office for prosecutors to determine whether the officer’s actions were justified under Illinois law concerning the use of deadly force.
East St. Louis police were also looking for Stringer. East St. Louis Detective Carlos Coleman said on Sept. 16 that Stringer was involved in an aggravated fleeing and eluding incident. “He went from East St. Louis to Washington Park and from Washington Park to St. Louis and back to East St. Louis.”
Prior to coming back into East St. Louis, St. Louis police used stop sticks to deflate the tires on the vehicle Stringer was driving.
“He drove on rims into East St. Louis where he wrecked the vehicle at the Windsor Building on Broadway,” Coleman said. Stringer was with a female at that time, and East st. Louis police believe she is the same woman he was with in Cahokia, Coleman said.
Stringer was arrested by East St. Louis police and taken to a local hospital.
“We’ve been chasing the suspect for a while. With him it always ended in a police pursuit once we got behind him. The day our detective was headed to the hospital he was in with the warrant he had for his arrest, Stringer had checked himself out of the hospital, Coleman said.
“So before we could get to him, in regards to the Sept. 16th incident, he had checked himself out of the hospital,” Coleman said.
The woman he was with in East St. Louis was charged with unlawful use of a weapon. She purchased a weapon and allowed Stringer to use it, police said. Her identity was not immediately available.
Doiron asked anyone with information regarding the Cahokia shooting to contact Illinois State Police Agent Bryant Johnson at 618-571-4125.
Carolyn P. Smith: 618-239-2503