NEW ATHENS, IL – Three gunmen remain at large after robbing the Casino Queen and shooting a casino security guard in East St. Louis early Sunday morning. News of the shooting is hitting one town especially hard.
It turns out the security guard wears many hats: a lot of very important hats.
With him being a crime victim and the gunmen still at large, Fox 2 and News 11 are not releasing his name.
Still, people in his hometown want two things known: they're praying for his recovery and they want the suspects caught.
The guard is as a pillar of the community in New Athens, Illinois, about 30 miles from the casino.
He’s a long-time firefighter, paramedic, and village leader.
“He knows everybody. Everybody likes him,” said Village Trustee, Ron Hampton. “We had a meeting last night. We had a prayer.”
News of the heist is tough to take. The wounded guard is as much the “heart and soul” of town as a person can be. Police say surveillance photos of the suspects have generated several leads.
There’s hope in New Athens that the photos, the CrimeStoppers reward (currently at $1,000), and people knowing more about the man who ended up taking a bullet, will lead to people coming forward with information to keep the suspects from getting away with such a terrifying crime.
“He’s just an all-around good guy…his time means nothing to him. He’s a “doer”,” Hampton said of the guard.
The guard has had a couple of surgeries.
He remained hospitalized in serious condition, Tuesday, the fire chief said.
There is a GoFundMe page to help his family with expenses.
Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS. You may get a reward and you don't have to leave your name to get it.