Metro-East News

Roommate shot man in East St. Louis over ‘bad batch’ of crack, police say

Edwin Cook was shot and killed the night of Sept. 19 near Lincoln Park in East St. Louis.
Edwin Cook was shot and killed the night of Sept. 19 near Lincoln Park in East St. Louis.

A 44-year-old man shot and killed his roommate Sept. 19 in East St. Louis after the two argued over a “bad batch of crack cocaine,” police reports obtained Monday indicate.

Below is a summary of the police investigation:

Edwin Cook Sr. sent a text message to a friend saying he “beat up” John Davis Sr. — Cook’s roommate — just 40 minutes before the 49-year-old man was shot dead near Lincoln Park. Another friend told police Cook punched John Davis Sr. in the face once at the John Robinson’s Housing Complex because Cook was upset about a bad batch of crack cocaine.

John Davis

Shortly after, a witness saw a man approach Cook from across the front lawn of the Mary E. Brown Center. The man yelled “What’s up now, (racial slur)?” and fired several rounds into Cook.

A witness spoke to police about the events following the shooting. The witness told police that John Davis Sr. said Cook had punched him. The same witness then told police that John Davis Sr. “confessed that he shot someone.”

The next day, the witness informed John Davis Sr. that Cook had died, and John Davis Sr. reportedly told the witness that “he killed Cook.”

Another witness spoke with police regarding the homicide.

“John (Davis Sr.) then stated he went toward the area of the Express Market to speak with Cook,” an officer wrote in regards to the witness’ interview. “(Davis Sr.) stated Cook approached him with a box cutter and he had to shoot him. He claimed he shot his friend in self defense.”

Officers spoke with John Davis Sr. a few days after the shooting and he denied being involved in the shooting. He told police Cook punched him in the face and then he went with the above witnesses to St. Louis. John Davis Sr. also denied another witness’ account of picking his mother up from his residence that night because she was “too scared to stay at the house.”

“Investigators had attempted to contact anyone at the residence every day since the time of the homicide,” police wrote in the search warrant application for the premise. “Both the front and rear doors are padlocked shut on the barred doors.”

Officers recovered a green box cutter from that residence, where John Davis Sr. lived.

John Davis Sr. is facing two felony charges: first-degree murder and unlawfully possessing a weapon as a felon. He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 20.

He is still in custody at the St. Clair County jail on a bail of $515,000 — which means John Davis Sr. would have to post $51,500 to be released on bond.