Fairview Heights police say a driver was found with a gunshot to the head Tuesday night after a vehicle crashed into a landscape rock.
Police said in a news release Wednesday that they were called to Longacre Ponds Luxury Apartments, 21 Northbrook Circle, at 6:20 p.m Tuesday for a report of a vehicle that had crashed into a large landscape rock. Outside the apartment complex, police found an unresponsive 21-year-old male who had a gunshot to his head.
Police said Wednesday the male was in “grave condition.” He was taken to a St. Louis hospital.
Police were told that more than one person was seen fleeing the scene of the crash on foot, but no suspects were found after a search of the area.
A witness said she called 911 when she saw what was going on outside her apartment building.
She said she was getting ready to go to the gym and was checking Facebook at the time. That’s when she heard a loud commotion outside and thought one of her neighbors had fallen on the stairs.
The witness said she went outside, looked over the railing and saw an older, burgundy car by a tree in front of the building. She said she saw one man inside the car as well as “two or three” other guys. She said she saw the man being dragged from the car and around the building, and heard one of the men say, “Check his pockets.” The witness said other residents were also outside when it happened.
“At first I thought they were helping him, but after I heard that they were checking his pockets, I thought, ‘That’s not right,’” said the woman, whose name isn’t being published because she feared for her safety. “I came back out my front door and looked over, and there was another guy who was actually looking in his car.”
At first I thought they were helping him, but after I heard that they were checking his pockets, I thought, ‘That’s not right.’
Resident of Longacre Ponds apartments
She said the men ran off.
The woman said she has been living at Longacre Ponds apartments for about three years. Despite what happened Tuesday, she said she still considers the apartment complex to be a safe environment.
Outside the apartments, muddy tire tracks could be seen along the parking lot. It appeared the car dragged a landscaping rock for a short distance before coming to a stop near a small tree.
Another resident, who has lived at the complex for more than seven years, said the car stopped just short of hitting building No 83. Blood could be seen on the grass in the area between buildings 81 and 83. The man appeared to have been dragged about 60 feet from the vehicle to a small utility post just behind building No. 81. There was blood on the post as well as a pool of blood at the bottom of the post.
Blood could be seen on the grass in the area between buildings 81 and 83. The man appeared to have been dragged about 60 feet from the vehicle to a small utility post just behind building No. 81.
The resident, who asked that his name be withheld for safety concerns, said the complex “is a nice place to live.” He said the complex is diverse and has a mixture of retirees, families and single people who live there.
Late Wednesday morning, detectives with the Fairview Heights Police Department were surveying the area, going door-to-door and speaking with residents. They were being assisted by O’Fallon Police.
Jake Wagner has lived at Longacre Ponds for a year and a half. He said he was “concerned” about what happened but wanted to get all of the facts before commenting on the situation. He said he felt safe living there.
“The people who run the complex are great,” he said. “They are in regular contact with us about safety. They do a good job of letting us know what is going on.”
The incident happened a few hundred yards from the site of a five-alarm fire that displaced 21 residents in September 2015. Another building on the grounds has been closed due to mine subsidence. The apartment complex is near the former U.S. Ice Sports Complex, which was shuttered in October 2012 after it was damaged by mine subsidence.
Anyone with information about the case can call Fairview Heights police at 618-363-3218 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477.
Return to the bnd.com for more on this developing story.