EDWARDSVILLE - Recently, a 17-year-old male was shot in Edwardsville after what Edwardsville Police Chief Jay Keeven called a marijuana purchase gone bad near the intersection of Bryant Street and Fourth Avenue in Edwardsville.

On November 13, 2015, the Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons’ violent crimes prosecutor Josh Jones charged Jermaine L. Harper, a 25-year-old black male of O’Fallon, Illinois, and Anthony M. Danley, a 24-year-old black male of Centreville, Illinois, with one count each of:

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Aggravated Battery with a Firearm (Class X felony)

Attempt Armed Robbery (Class 1 felony)

Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm (Class 1 felony).

Bond for each subject was set at $150,000.

During a neighborhood canvas of the area where the shooting took place, many witnesses came forward to assist the police department, Keeven said. Officers learned the suspects were traveling in a small yellow vehicle, with significant rear end damage. An Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network (I.S.P.E.R.N.) broadcast was dispatched advising local law enforcement of the incident and vehicle description. An Illinois State Trooper subsequently stopped a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description in Cahokia, Illinois. Two occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody and subsequently interviewed by Edwardsville police detectives.

Keeven said this was an example of someone making bad choices and things escalating from there.

“What we teach in D.A.R.E. is as we get older and make choices, we will be held accountable for things we do,” Keeven said. “Sometimes the things we do have unexpected consequences. I guess this young man assumed he wasn’t going to get robbed and something bad happened, he was robbed and shot, which was not what he expected.”

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Keeven said the 17-year-old was quite lucky in this case because it could have ended a lot worse.

“This person could have been dead after being shot,” Keeven said. “The person has to think was the marijuana worth it and I hope the answer would be no.”

Keeven stressed that ultimately, drug dealers and users are normally caught and they pay the consequences for their actions.

“Fortunately in this scenario the family was visiting the teen in the hospital instead of planning his funeral.”

D.A.R.E.’s key mission now is to stress that youth have to make good life choices and stay away from alcohol and drugs.

Shootings in Edwardsville are a rarity and in this case, thanks to neighbors providing detailed information about the car of the suspects and other information and a successful outside network with our police agencies, the two suspects in this case were quickly apprehended in Cahokia.

Chief Keeven said what drew him to Edwardsville is how the community cares about its neighbors and will not compromise with crime.

“We had people outside wanting to explain to officers what had just happened,” he said of the day of the shooting. “We did canvass the neighborhood, but we had witnesses coming forward right behind them and telling what they saw. We had the description of the vehicle out in minutes and we are fortunate that a trooper in Cahokia saw the small compact, yellow vehicle with heavy rear-end damage.”

Keeven was quickly on the scene and slightly before he left the scene talking to witnesses he was told the suspects were stopped in Cahokia.

“I was told they stopped the suspects and had them within an hour or hour and a half after the crime, which is phenomenal,” he said. “I don’t want to detract at all what our police officers did, but we couldn’t have done this so quickly without the support of the neighbors.”

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