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East St. Louis man accused in shooting gets 9-year sentence for possessing assault rifle

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According to data from the FBI, property and violent crimes continue to decrease in Illinois, though the violent crime's are still slightly higher than the national average.

A 28-year-old man East St. Louis man shot by police at an East St. Louis restaurant during a manhunt for suspects who fired shots into a Washington Park home has been sentenced to serve nine years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Antoine D. Johnson Jr. pleaded guilty in federal court in January to one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Johnson also has agreed to plead guilty in the Washington Park shooting that injured two people and the sentence for this case may be added onto the federal sentence, prosecutors said.

Johnson was in the front passenger seat of car and had a loaded Norinco SKS semiautomatic assault rifle on his lap when East St. Louis police officers surrounded the car idling in the drive thru of the McDonald’s restaurant on State Street at 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 18, 2018.

“After Johnson and the driver refused to comply with commands to exit the vehicle, and upon observing Johnson’s rifle pointed in their direction, the officers opened fire. The driver attempted to flee but crashed the car into a pole beside the restaurant,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a news release.

Johnson, who was arrested at the scene along with the driver, suffered a gunshot wound to his hip and shrapnel damage to one of his eyes. The driver and the officers were not injured.

As part of his plea deal with federal prosecutors, Johnson admitted firing 11 rounds into the Washington Park residence on Feb. 18, 2018, and agreed to plead guilty in St. Clair County Circuit Court to one count of aggravated battery with a firearm. Johnson’s sentence in that case is expected to run consecutively to his federal sentence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

At the time of this offense, Johnson was on probation in St. Clair County for a 2015 aggravated robbery conviction, federal prosecutors said.

Police have said the two adults shot in the Washington Park home did not suffer life-threatening injuries. They were shot about 30 minutes before the police spotted Johnson at the McDonald’s.

Mike Koziatek joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1998 as an assistant editor and is now a reporter covering the Belleville area. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and grew up in St. Louis.
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