Crime

West Belleville shooting victim is identified

St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. has identified the woman who died Friday in an early morning shooting in west Belleville.

Kristine M. Gibbons, 54, was pronounced dead at 8:24 a.m., shortly after police were called to the 3900 block of South Park Drive on a wellness check. Gibson’s last known address was on First Street in Belleville.

The incident is being investigated as a homicide, said police Capt. Mark Heffernan.

When police arrived at the scene shortly after 7 a.m., a man since identified as a person of interest surrendered to officers in the front yard of the home, according to police Capt. Mark Heffernan.

Gibbons’ body was found inside the front door of the house.

Heffernan said the person of interest remained in police custody as of Friday evening 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 — not Gibbons — 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.

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 at the scene of Friday’s shooting. “This kind of a crime is out of the norm for Belleville.”

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