Gov. Pritzker speaks on shooting of Illinois State Trooper in East St. Louis
An Illinois State Police trooper was shot while attempting to serve a search warrant in East St. Louis during the early morning hours Friday. He later died from his injuries.
Several suspects have been taken into custody near the scene at 43rd Street and Caseyville Avenue. The state trooper was transported to St. Louis University Hospital. His injuries are “life threatening,” according to an ISP release.
The officer is 33 years old and a 10-year veteran of the state police, according to the release. Official sources had not confirmed his name or condition at presstime.
The Madison County Coroner’s office issued a release late Friday stating that social media reports saying the trooper had died are untrue and asked that be removed. Madison County is where the Illinois State Police District 11 headquarters is located.
East St. Louis Police, ISP, ATF, tactical units and a SWAT team were at the scene on 43rd Street and Caseyville Avenue. Gun fire was exchanged at about 5:30 a.m. when the trooper was hit. Other officers transported him to the hospital.
Several suspects were taken into custody, but at least one was believed to be inside the building. Police and K-9 officers entered the duplex by force, but immediately exited again. An armored vehicle knocked out windows. Smoke or gas billowed from the building following a loud boom.
Additional attempts to flush the suspect from the building with gas and loud booms, possibly stun grenades, were made throughout the afternoon. Shortly after 5 p.m., a fire department pumper engine arrived to flood the house with water.
The standoff continued into Friday evening.
Terrence Hargrove Sr., who resides with his family about six houses down from where the officer was shot, said he heard police detonating “concussion bombs,” or stun grenades, at about 5:30 a.m. When he stepped outside to investigate, he saw a street lined with police vehicles.
“Police are everywhere,” said Hargrove, whose son, Terry Hargrove Jr., is a freshman basketball star at Saint Louis University.
Tiffany Brown, who lives next door, was returning home from work in Pontoon Beach, when she found her driveway and property swarming with officers. She said she was detained by an armed officer until it could be confirmed she was not a resident of the duplex. Brown says she hasn’t been allowed inside her house, where her fiance and 10-year-old son remain.
“They won’t even let me go back inside to check on my son,” she said.
By 5:30 p.m., she was still waiting for that chance. Other residents of the neighborhood have returned from work, but are blocked from their home by police barricades.
Yolanda Graham, who lives several streets down in the same neighborhood, got emotional as she talked about the shootings that have killed 24 people in East St. Louis this year. Her husband, John Graham, was one of those victims. He was shot on April 27 and died two days later.
“This is sad. It’s just sad. What can we do to save our community to make it better for our children, seniors and neighbors?” she said. “All these killings are just senseless.”
Graham cried as she asked other onlookers Friday morning if they knew the condition of the officer who had been shot.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker was monitoring the standoff from Sparta, where he was attending a bill signing event.
“It is one of the worst jobs you get as governor to get news of the danger that clearly our state troopers get put in every day and then of course to hear someone has been shot,” Pritzker told the Belleville News-Democrat. “He was delivering a warrant. It’s a job troopers have to do every single day. They stand up for us in ways that I think people I don’t think even know.”