Second man charged in connection with trooper shooting, police standoff in East St. Louis

The second of three people arrested in connection with a police standoff in East St. Louis on Friday that resulted in an Illinois State Police trooper being fatally shot was charged Monday.

Al Stewart Jr., 19, of 1426 North 42nd St., East St. Louis, faces one count of armed violence, one count of obstructing justice and one count of possession with intent to distribute cannabis related to the shooting incident at the same address, according to State’s Attorney Jim Gomric.

Stewart is accused of being armed with a handgun while he “knowingly possessed with the intent to deliver more than 10 grams but not more than 30 grams of a substance containing cannabis,” according to the charges.

The obstructing justice charge alleges that Stewart hid a .40 caliber Glock handgun in the home’s kitchen in order to hinder prosecution.

Stewart’s bail was set at $250,000. He remains in police custody in the St. Clair County Jail.

Stewart was among three people arrested following an early morning standoff with East St. Louis Police, Illinois State Police and the State Police S.W.A.T. team after officers went to the duplex to execute a search warrant.

One of the other men, Christopher R. Grant, 45, has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing ISP Trooper and SWAT team member Nicholas Hopkins during the incident.

Grant was arraigned from the St. Clair County Jail on Monday via video communication with Circuit Judge John O’Gara. His bail was set at $5 million.

It is unclear whether the third person arrested on Friday has been charged with any crimes or is still in custody. An Illinois State Police spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

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.