GODFREY - The Madison County Sheriff's Office is investigating an armed robbery, which took place in the early hours of Monday morning.

According to a release from the Madison County Sheriff's Office, a couple was returning home from an evening at Hollywood Casino in St. Louis. They were confronted at gunpoint after a four-door, older-model white car blocked them as they turned onto Union School Road from Humbert Road. Two black males wearing hoodies and masks over the lower portion of their faces exited the vehicle, armed with firearms, and demanded money from the couple.

One suspect struck the driver's side door with a firearm, which shattered the glass. Then, both victims were pulled from the vehicle, and one was struck over the head with a firearm. Neither victim reported a shot being fired, but deputies located evidence at the scene, proving at least one round was fired into the victim's vehicle during the attempted armed robbery, according to the release.

After demanding money, the suspects searched the interior of the vehicle, police said, which gave the victims a chance to flee on foot. The person struck with the firearm did suffer minor injuries as a result, but declined medical attention at the scene, the release said.

The victims said the two men returned to their vehicle and drove southbound on Humbert Road into Alton.

It is not known at this time if the victims were followed from the casino, but Madison County Sheriff's Office Chief of Investigations Captain Mike Dixon said it is a common practice for criminals to follow someone home after seeing them winning at the casino, but Dixon refused to comment whether or not these unidentified Godfrey victims had won anything.

"We're working with Hollywood Casino, which is always compliant with law enforcement, to review their camera footage to see if anyone may have been following our victims," Dixon said. "They could have followed them across the bridge, or they could have caught onto their car between the Clark Bridge and Godfrey."

If the suspects did follow the victims from the Hollywood Casino across the Clark Bridge, Dixon said the investigation would be one, which could be aided by the future license-plate-reading (LPR) cameras about to be mounted on the bridge.

Since those cameras are not yet in place, Dixon said a vehicle registration could not be searched at this time.

"We have nothing so far to prove that these people were followed, but it is a practice seen across the country, but we're not sure yet if this the case," Dixon said. "People should always be conscious and aware of their surroundings when leaving the casino. This is an alarming and scary event, which could happen to any of us."

Dixon has subsequently stated the security footage has been examined, and added the couple was not followed while inside the establishment of Hollywood Casino.

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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