Woman dead following west Belleville shooting

Belleville police are investigating the shooting death of a woman at the 3900 block of South Park Drive Friday morning.

Police were called to the address on a wellness check at 7:04 a.m. When they arrived, a man identified as a person of interest surrendered to officers in the front yard of the home, according to police Capt. Mark Heffernan.

A female’s body was then found inside the front door of the house. Heffernan said the death is being investigated as a homicide. The St. Clair County coroner’s office had not released the name of the victim, pending notification of family.

On Monday, police responded to a non-fatal shooting at the 4400 block of South Park. Heffernan said from the scene Friday that it is not currently believed that the incidents are related.

“There’s no more crime here than any other area of Belleville,” he said. “This kind of a crime is out of the norm for Belleville.”

As of 10:30 a.m., officers at the scene were awaiting a judge’s signature on a search warrant. In the meantime, police are not discussing motive, weapons, or the identity of the victim. Crime scene investigators and the St. Clair County Coroner’s office are at the scene.

Heffernan said the person of interest is in police custody and, according to a release posted to social media by the Belleville Police Department, no other suspects are being sought.

Victor Grinston, a neighbor on the same block, said a woman who lived in the house was guardian to three foster children and that he took one of them, a 5-year-old, to school each day.

“She would come sit on my front step and wait for me,” said Grinston. “I haven’t seen that little girl in two days.”

Another neighbor, who would provide only her first name, Jasmine, said she witnessed two children being escorted away from the scene in one police car and a third taken in another cruiser.

It wasn’t clear to either of the neighbors if the shooting victim was the foster mother.

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