EDWARDSVILLE - Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons announced first-degree murder charges today against Perry A. Richardson (d.o.b. 02/21/1993) in connection with a shooting that took place on Thursday morning in Venice.

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Venice Police were dispatched to the 200 block of Abbott Street around 10 a.m. on February 2nd in response to reports of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers discovered the body of Billy D. Dickerson (05/04/1997) inside his car. Dickerson, a resident of St. Louis, was pronounced dead at the scene.

During the course of the investigation, investigators with the Illinois State Police determined that Dickerson and Richardson approached and attempted to rob two individuals sitting in a vehicle in front of a residence on Abbott Street, at gunpoint.

One of the victims, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran from St. Louis, pulled his gun and fired on the would-be robbers, striking both Dickerson and Richardson. Dickerson, the driver, was struck in the head; Richardson, the passenger, was struck in the arm and chest. The victim is authorized to possess a concealed firearm in his home state of Missouri

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“Self-defense is an inalienable right in a free society and the right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment. The Courts have consistently recognized the right of a law-abiding citizen to carry a concealed weapon for the purpose of self-defense. This incident yesterday morning is the exact situation where the necessity for this right becomes crystal clear,” said State’s Attorney Gibbons.

“I have said it before and I will not waver from this position – I say to all criminals thinking about committing violent crimes in Madison County – if you come here to commit your crimes, do not be surprised if you end up on the wrong side of the concealed weapon of a law abiding citizen. We will not tolerate violent crime and we will defend ourselves, our loved ones and our community from the harm you intend to bring.”

State's Attorney Gibbons also commended the work of the officers with the Illinois State Police and the Venice Police Department for their investigation that led to today’s charges.

Richardson was transported to SLU Hospital for medical treatment. Upon release, he will be brought to the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville where he will be held without bond. Maximum penalty for first-degree murder is 20-60 years in prison. If convicted, Richardson will be required to serve 100 percent of his sentence.

This charge, as well as the statements made herein, is based upon probable cause. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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