Community rallies around security guard shot during Casino Queen robbery

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.