JERSEYVILLE, Illinois– A Jerseyville, Illinois police officer was shot and a 24-year-old suspect was killed after exchanging gunfire overnight.
Police said Austin Durham of Carrolton, Ill. was the suspect involved in the officer pursuit including two officers and a Jersey County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Just after 1:10 a.m. Tuesday, officers received a burglar alarm call at DJ’s Bar and Grill, located at 117 West Prairie Street. When the officer arrived, a male suspect was seen running from the business. The officer chased the suspect on foot to an area off of Carpenter Road.
Jerseyville Police said the pursuit involved two officers and a Jersey County Sheriff’s Department.
During the foot pursuit, while between several homes, the suspect fired gunshots at the officer, hitting him at least twice, according to Jerseyville Police Chief Brad Blackorby. The officer then returned fire, striking the suspect multiple times.
“The officer followed him [the suspect] between two houses, where the suspect began firing rounds at the officer. The officer returned fire. The officer was struck several times by gunfire. The suspect was also struck several times,” Chief Blackorby said.
The officer was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the shooting, according to Chief Blackorby. The chief also said the officer was shot in areas the vest did not cover.
“The officer did take multiple hits,” he said. “The vest also, the bulletproof vest, also took several hits to it. Probably imperative that he has it on.”
The officer was taken a St. Louis Hospital for treatment. He is said to be in critical, but stable condition. When asked about the condition of the injured officer, Chief Blackorby said he didn’t have a lot of information but did know “he’s alert, he’s talking but he does have injuries.”
The suspect was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. No other information regarding the suspect has been released.
“It’s obviously a shock to the entire department,” said Chief Blackorby. “We are a small department and we are a small community. It’s a shock anytime one of your officers has to go through something like this.”
According to Chief Blackorby, the officer, whom he believes is 30 years old, is a former St. Louis Metropolitan officer who has been with the Jerseyville Police Department since 2014.
The investigation has been handed over the Illinois State Police Department.
An emergency fund for the officer has been established.
Donations can be sent to:
City of Jerseyville Police Benevolent Fund
Jerseyville Banking Center
PO Box 249
Jerseyville, IL 62052