Metro-East News

Belleville Police: Chocolate chip cookies and $8 lead to west end shooting

It started as an argument about $8 and a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies, but ended with bullets.

Minutes later, a suspect in the shooting was arrested in Belleville’s West End library with live ammunition, police said.

“It’s inconceivable that these individuals would rise to that level of violence over $8 and a bag of cookies,” said Belleville Police Det. Sgt. Mark Heffernan. “Disgusting.”

Police were called to the area of 29th Street and Vernier Avenue in Belleville around noon on Wednesday for shots fired, Heffernan said.

The investigation revealed two men argued with two other men and during the course of the disagreement one of the men pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired into the air, then he turned the gun toward the other two men and fired a shot. The victims and suspects know each other, Heffernan said. No one was injured. The two suspects fled on foot.

Responding Belleville officers recovered a gun from some landscaping in the 3400 block of West Main Street, Heffernan said. They also found one of the suspects, who was taken into custody.

Officers gathered information on the other suspect’s identification and checked several address in the area, Heffernan said, to no avail.

The suspect was later located at the Belleville Public Library West Branch at 3414 W. Main St. Officers discovered a live round of ammunition where the suspect was seated, Heffernan said, and later recovered additional rounds of ammunition in the library. The suspect resisted arrest, Heffernan said, but was later detained.

Neither man has been charged as of early Thursday afternoon, but Heffernan said the case was being reviewed by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office for charges.

“We received a lot of assistance from the community during this investigation. A lot of people were home due to the holidays,” Heffernan said. “This could have been a tragic situation, and we are thankful no one was hurt.”

Beth Hundsdorfer: 618-239-2570, @bhundsdorfer