EDWARDSVILLE — On Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine and Alton Police Chief Jarrett Ford announced that amended charges of first-degree murder have been filed against five defendants in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old girl.

The five defendants are:

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• Alvin Perry III, 19, of Alton, charged with First-Degree Murder, Aggravated Battery With a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Weapon by a Felon and Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons.

• Raysean M. Colvin, 19, of Alton, charged with First-Degree Murder, Aggravated Battery With a Firearm, Unlawful Sale or Delivery of Firearms, Unlawful Possession of Weapon by a Felon and Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons.

• Keith A. Sanders, 24, of Alton, charged with First-Degree Murder and Contributing to the Delinquency or Criminal Delinquency of a Minor.

Vito Crowder• Vito K. Crowder, 16, of Alton, charged with First-Degree Murder and Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons.

Dakota M. Perry• Dakota M. Perry, 16, of Alton, charged with First-Degree Murder and Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons.

The charges stem from the shooting of Ra’niya Steward on the afternoon of Feb. 3, 2024. Ra’niya suffered a gunshot as she stood on the porch of a home that came under gunfire in the 900 block of Highland Avenue in Alton.

Haine said he expects evidence to show that she was not an intended target. Ra’niya died Tuesday at a St. Louis-area hospital.

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On Wednesday, Haine’s office amended the previously-filed charges against Colvin, Sanders and Alvin Perry to first-degree murder. Also on Wednesday, the two 16-year-olds – Dakota Perry and Crowder – were charged with first-degree murder, resulting in their automatic certification to be tried in adult court.

Due to this status, the charges against them are public and their names released.

Sanders, Colvin and Alvin Perry remained in custody Wednesday at the Madison County Jail. Crowder and Dakota Perry had not yet been apprehended as of Wednesday afternoon. Feb. 14, 2024.

“This case is beyond tragic,” Haine said. “The life of a beautiful young girl has been lost, and our community is hurting. Ra’niya, her family and her loved ones remain in our prayers.”

Ford said Alton Police Department continues to gather information and pursue leads in the investigation. “Our prayers are with the family of Ra’niya during their time of grief,” Ford said.

“We are working to apprehend the individuals who are not yet in custody. We’re grateful for the community’s support in this investigation, and we’re hopeful for continued cooperation in order to ensure the safety of everyone, including the defendants.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Alton Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division at 618-463-3505, Ext. 671.

Haine commended the Assistant State’s Attorneys who serve in the Violent Crimes Unit at the State’s Attorney’s Office – Luke Yager, Mike Stewart, Morgan Hudson and Chief Lauren Maricle – for their teamwork on the case.

This charge and the statements made herein are based upon probable cause. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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