Crime

Woman charged with bringing handgun onto SIUE campus in East St. Louis

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)

A woman has been charged with aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon after bringing a gun onto a college campus in East St. Louis.

Della S. Harris, 35, of East St. Louis, was arrested on Jan. 16 by Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville police, charging documents from St. Clair County Court state.

That afternoon, Harris was on her way to the Connections to Success office on SIUE’s campus in East St. Louis when she got into a verbal argument with her boyfriend in the parking lot of the building, SIUE Chief of Police Kevin Schmoll said.

Harris, who has a conceal and carry permit, pulled out a 9mm handgun and pointed it at her boyfriend, who fled, Schmoll said. Harris then went into the office building, still carrying the firearm. Within two minutes of walking in, Schmoll said SIUE police apprehended Harris for violating campus policy.

On Feb. 4, Harris was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the parking lot incident and with unlawful use of a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school since the East St. Louis Charter High School is located on the SIUE campus at 601 James R. Thompson Blvd. in East St. Louis.

Schmoll said there is an active warrant out for Harris’ arrest. Her bail was set at $25,000.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.
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