A Wood River man is facing multiple felony charges after police say he was shot during a home invasion, though the man said he was shot by a stranger he met in Craigslist.
Brenton M. Webster, 29, of Wood River has been charged with home invasion, armed robbery and possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver. He is accused of breaking into a Godfrey residence in an attempted burglary.
According to police, Webster came into a Casey’s General Store on Fosterburg Road in Alton on Thursday evening and asked for an ambulance for a gunshot wound. When the police arrived, Webster told them he had arranged to meet someone through Craigslist at Fosterburg Road and Interstate 255, and that person shot him.
However, police believe that Webster was actually shot in the commission of a home invasion. A resident of Tremont Drive in Godfrey reported that Webster knocked on the door, asking to use the restroom. He was allowed into the house, but then Webster allegedly struck the resident with a firearm, according to Capt. Mike Dixon of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
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The homeowner was also armed, and shot Webster in the torso. He then fled to the gas station, police said. “He’s very fortunate” to have survived, Dixon said.
“A lot of good police work made the case; it wasn’t immediately obvious what had happened,” Dixon said. “He told us something totally different. ... It was the work of a couple good officers in Alton that revealed what really happened.”
Dixon said evidence developed during the investigation suggests the event is related to illegal drug activity. He said he could not discuss the specifics of that activity or reveal whether Webster got away with anything from the house. However, he said it was not a random crime.
“I don’t want the average citizen to think we’ve got random people kicking in doors to rob them and beating up people in their homes,” Dixon said. “This is consistent and common among those involved in drug activity... By this arrest we will hopefully prevent something like this from happening again. If you choose to do a home invasion on someone, you’re taking your life in your own hands and your future in imprisonment.”
Webster was released from the hospital on Saturday, and was immediately arrested by St. Louis City Police. He is currently in custody in the St. Louis City Jail, pending extradition back to Illinois.