Metro-East News

Four charged after weekend shooting in Granite City

Police say the victim was shot in the neck after an alleged argument with the suspects.
Police say the victim was shot in the neck after an alleged argument with the suspects.

Four people are facing felony charges in Madison County after an attempted robbery that left one person shot in the neck.

Granite City police officers responded to a call of shots fired on Friday night at the Economy Inn on W. Chain of Rocks Road.

As a result, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons filed several charges Monday against Lavonce A. James, Nicholas A. Herrera, Paige M. Kelis and Brooke S. Ray. All are from Granite City.

James, 23, is accused of shooting one person during an argument. The state’s attorney’s office said a preliminary investigation indicated that the shooting might have been drug-related. The shooting victim was identified as Austin Pearse. Gibbons said Pearse suffered a single gunshot wound to the neck.

Gibbons described Pearse’s condition as “serious,” but said the victim is awake and able to talk.

James was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, armed robbery and unlawful possession of weapons by a felon. James’ bail amount is set at $500,000.

Armed robbery charges were also filed against Herrera, 20; Kelis, 20; and Ray, 18. Bail amounts for each are set at $250,000.

The suspects are in custody at the Madison County Jail, Gibbons said Tuesday.

“We will never tolerate the kind of violence represented in these charges,” Gibbons said in a news release. “Any individual who inflicts this kind of harm on our community will feel the heavy hammer of the justice system come down upon them."

Gibbons also thanked First Assistant Jennifer Mudge and the Granite City Police Department for their coordination in the investigation of the case.

Kaitlyn Schwers: 618-239-2526, @kaitlynschwers