Crime

Person of interest in custody in shooting death of St. Clair County teen

Investigators survey house where police say fatal shooting happened

Investigators were at 141 Paulette Drive in Belleville on Tuesday after a 19-year-old died of a gunshot wound to the chest Monday night. The Major Case Squad was activated Monday night to continue the investigation into a fatal shooting, which po
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Investigators were at 141 Paulette Drive in Belleville on Tuesday after a 19-year-old died of a gunshot wound to the chest Monday night. The Major Case Squad was activated Monday night to continue the investigation into a fatal shooting, which po

The Major Case Squad has identified a person of interest in the shooting death of an 18-year-old man who lived in unincorporated St. Clair County, just outside Belleville.

The person was in custody Thursday night in connection with the death of Cole Wierciszewski, said Deputy Commander Bruce Fleshren. The person was identified through interviews and tips from the public.

Investigators planned to present the case to the St. Clair County State's Attorney's office Friday morning in order to initiate charges.

Wierciszewski was shot Monday evening at 141 Paulette Drive near Belleville, and a friend drove him to Memorial Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Wierciszewski was a cancer survivor, said Mackenzie Wright, who went to Belleville East High School with him. He always welcomed others with open arms and was the "life of the party."

"He was the one really kind heart that you could never forget," Wright said. "I could have never imagined this. It was a surprise to everyone when we heard about it."

Wierciszewski's cousin, Crystal Wierciszewski, said the family is "absolutely devastated" and that Cole will be missed deeply.

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