Shoot-outs are a common trope in crime and western novels and less commonly in real life. Nevertheless, suspects who are attempting to evade capture occasionally get caught in gun fights with police. A recent incident in East St. Louis may force the suspects to retain a competent criminal defense attorney to keep them from returning to prison.
The two suspects allegedly robbed a 51-year old woman in her house early on the morning of February 18. According to police, officers responded to a call from the house where the theft had been committed. After allegedly committing the theft, the two men drove to a near-by McDonald’s drive-thru, where their SUV was spotted. One of the officers saw the passenger in the vehicle apparently wield a handgun. Police opened fire, and a brief gun battle between police and the suspects ensued. The two suspects were arrested and taken into custody. The passenger in the vehicle was not injured, but the driver received a gunshot wound to his hip.
The two men were each charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and the use of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Police said that the men possessed an assault style rifle. One of the men was allegedly in possession of a revolver. Court records say that both suspects have a criminal record in St. Clair County Court involving gun-related felonies. Both men have also served time for crimes, including armed robbery and aggravated unlawful use of a firearm.
Despite their criminal history, both suspects in this case are entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until they have been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone in a similar situation may wish to seek the services of a competent criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can provide a useful evaluation of the evidence and law that will determine the outcome of the case.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “Suspects arrested after ‘shootout’ at McDonald’s with East St. Louis police,” Carolyn P. Smith and George Pawlaczyk, February 18, 2018