ALTON - Two individuals from Alton have been charged in connection to a drive-by shooting on Belle Street in which they allegedly fired at one residence, striking it and a neighboring residence. While no deaths or injuries were reported, three firearm projectiles were found in a living room where a 3-year-old child was sleeping.

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Eugene L. Johnson, 33, and Rondell L. Sanders, 31, both of Alton, were both charged with two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm. Johnson was additionally charged with unlawful possession of weapons by a felon, aggravated assault, and aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer; Sanders was additionally charged with obstructing justice.

On May 22, 2024, Sanders and Johnson allegedly shot at two residences in the 3200 block of Belle Street in Alton while they “knew or reasonably should have known” the buildings were occupied, according to descriptions of the charges against both individuals.

Johnson had previously been convicted of second degree murder in 2019 in Madison County. In this latest case, he was additionally charged after fleeing from an officer at 21 mph or more over the legal speed limit and allegedly nearly striking another officer with the vehicle he was driving, a 2012 Chevrolet Impala.

Sanders reportedly gave officers false information by claiming he was not present in the vehicle at the time of the offense, resulting in the obstructing justice charge.

A petition to deny Johnson’s pretrial release describes the incident as follows:

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“Defendant, along with his co-defendants drove past [a residence on] Belle Street and shot multiple times into the residence, striking it and the residence next door,” the petition states. “Three projectiles were found in the living room near where a 3-year-old was sleeping. Later, while police were on scene, Defendant drove back to the crime scene, through barricades, and at Sgt. Metzler. He then fled at a high rate of speed, ending in a crash.”

A Detention Order granting the state’s petition to detain Johnson adds that he later admitted to driving the vehicle involved in the drive-by shooting “after being shown bodycam footage.”

A petition to deny Sanders’s pretrial release was also filed, stating he also drove past the Belle Street residence and shot into it multiple times, striking it and the neighboring residence. Prior to the shooting, he was reportedly identified by a witness who he threatened, according to a Detention Order later filed to grant the state’s petition to detain Sanders.

“[Sanders was] identified by witness just prior to [the] shooting waiving a handgun and threatening the witness,” the Detention Order states. “Defendant has [a] history of convictions for reckless discharge of firearm and battery.”

Johnson and Sanders each face two Class 1 felony counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm. Sanders also faces a Class 4 felony for obstructing justice, while Johnson faces an additional Class 2 felony for unlawful possession of weapons by a felon, a Class 3 felony for aggravated assault, and a Class 4 felony for fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer.

Both cases against Johnson and Sanders were presented by the Alton Police Department, and both individuals were remanded to be held in jail until their initial appearance in court. Their preliminary hearings have been set for June 14, 2024 at 9 a.m.

The issuance of charges is based solely upon probable cause and is not an indication of guilt. All subjects charged with criminal offenses are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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