1 killed in shooting near Belleville Chili Cook-off. 19-year-old man charged
Editor's note: This story was originally published in the Belleville News-Democrat.
Update at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 10 with charge
A man has been charged in the weekend shooting death in downtown Belleville, Assistant Police Chief Mark Heffernan said Monday.
Omarion D. Williams, 19, of East St. Louis, is accused of one count of first-degree murder in the death of Aaron Metts of Belleville, Heffernan said. Williams will be held at the St. Clair County jail pending a detention hearing.
Original story from Oct. 7:
A man was found shot to death in downtown Belleville on Saturday afternoon, and a person of interest is in custody, Assistant Police Chief Mark Heffernan said.
Aaron Metts, 27, of Belleville was pronounced dead at the scene at South 1st Street and West B Street at 1:05 p.m., according to St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr.He died of multiple gunshot wounds, Dye said. Metts’ last known address was the 100 block of North First Street.
Belleville police officers were sent to South 1st Street and West B Street in response to a report of multiple shots fired around noon.
When officers arrived, they found a man who had been shot, Heffernan said.
“Preliminary investigation by the detectives uncovered that a person of interest may be in a nearby residence, and Belleville police worked with the St. Clair County State’s Attorneys Office and secured multiple search warrants related to this investigation,” Heffernan told the BND.
The Belleville/St. Clair Regional Special Response Team “went to the residence where multiple search warrants were executed and a person of interest was taken into custody,” he said.
He said the person of interest is an adult male and is being held by the Belleville Police Department pending further investigation.
“We do not believe that there’s an ongoing threat in this area,” Heffernan said. “This incident was completely unrelated to the Belleville Chili Cook-off, and there never was any threat to the cook-off in any way.”
The shooting happened just blocks from the site of the Belleville Chili Cook-off, which was Friday and Saturday at Public Square and along East Main Street.
"Belleville police were in close communication with cook-off organizers and relayed information to organizers throughout this incident,” Heffernan said.
Carolyn P. Smith is a reporter with the Belleville News-Democrat, a news partner of St. Louis Public Radio.