An attempted carjacking in Edwardsville has led to three people arrested and facing multiple felony charges.
A 52-year-old woman was found beaten and lying on the ground near Devon Court at about 7:45 p.m. Monday night. She reported that a man had approached her with a gun before taking her keys and briefly getting into her car, while two companions waited in a nearby car.
According to police, however, a neighbor saw the attack taking place and fired a gun multiple times in an attempt to help the woman. No one was struck by the bullets, and no charges have been filed against the neighbor, police said.
But the sound of the gunshots scared them away. One suspect ran off, and the other two fled in a car, which had been reported stolen in St. Louis the day before.
Two of the suspects were stopped later in the vehicle on Illinois 157, and the man who ran was caught near Valley View Cemetery. All three were arrested without further incident, according to police.
Edwardsville Police Chief Jay Keeven said this kind of crime is “surprising” in Edwardsville, and Devon Court is an upscale cul-de-sac in a quiet neighborhood. “This is extremely unusual for our town,” he said.
Keeven said police don’t know why the three teenagers were in the area, or what drew them to Edwardsville.
“We believe this was a crime of opportunity,” Keeven said. “The 17-year-olds saw her and saw that she had a nice vehicle, and decided to try to take it.”
Charged were Lorenzo Waller, Martece A. Shumpert and Quan A. Willis, all age 17 of St. Louis. Each faces charges of aggravated vehicular hijacking, a Class X felony; armed robbery, a Class X felony; aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, a Class 4 felony; and aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony.
Police believe Waller is the one who initially attacked the woman, while Shumpert drove the stolen car with Willis as a passenger. The woman was treated and released at a local hospital.
Keeven said the police response was very fast: officers from Illinois State Police, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police, Glen Carbon Police and of course the Edwardsville Police Department all responded and worked together.
“It was a quick response and a good heads-up response,” he said. “This is not the norm for Edwardsville, but when we have a crime like this, I’m proud we could bring it to a quick conclusion.”
All three defendants are being charged as adults and are currently in custody at the Madison County Detention Home in Edwardsville. Circuit Judge Richard Tognarelli set bail at $500,000 each. They face maximum penalties of six to 30 years in prison on the Class X felonies, 2-5 years for the Class 3 felonies and 1-3 years for the Class 4 felony.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2507.