Crime

Man charged in connection with fatal shooting of O’Fallon father of two

Police investigate fatal O’Fallon shooting

The scene was still taped off Monday morning at the Castle Acres mobile home park, in the 1700 block of West Highway 50 in O'Fallon, after a man was shot and killed just before 7 a.m. Sunday.
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The scene was still taped off Monday morning at the Castle Acres mobile home park, in the 1700 block of West Highway 50 in O'Fallon, after a man was shot and killed just before 7 a.m. Sunday.

Prosecutors have charged a 26-year-old man in connection with the fatal shooting of Matthew E. Lockett in O’Fallon in December.

James D. Garrett faces one count of armed violence and one count of unlawful delivery of cannabis, which are both felonies, St. Clair County Court records indicate. Lt. Kerry Andrews of the O’Fallon Police Department said Thursday police zeroed in on Garrett as a suspect initially, and upon investigation, gathered enough evidence for the State’s Attorney’s Office to charge him on March 29.

On Dec. 30, Lockett, 24, was found dead in the Castle Acres mobile home park in the 1700 block of West Highway 50 in O’Fallon. St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye said Lockett died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was activated to investigate the homicide and then handed it over to O’Fallon police.

Lockett, a graduate of Collinsville High School, left behind a son and a daughter. His father, Henry Lockett Sr., told the BND in January that his son was an aspiring rapper, always excited to tell his father about his work in the studio.

“He was proud of his work and I was proud of him,” Lockett Sr. said.

Lockett’s mother, Elizabeth Lockett Pittman, learned about her son’s death via text. She told the BND that she believes the person responsible for his death was someone he trusted.

“We love our son very much. We want to get to the bottom of this. (Matthew) was a good son, a good father, just a wonderful person,” Pittman said. “He was too good to get what he got. He had so much to live for. We have to find out why this happened to him. He was my golden child. He will never be forgotten. We will always love him and we want him to rest in peace.”

Garrett’s next appearance in St. Clair County Court has been set for July 17.

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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.