Police confirm murder-suicide in Columbia, Illinois domestic dispute

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COLUMBIA, IL (KPLR) - We are learning more about the victim in a murder suicide in Columbia, Ill.  Police say 53 year-old Toni Hannon was shot and killed in a domestic dispute on High Ridge Drive Monday night.

Toni Hannon was a respected real estate agent who worked for RE/MAX in O’Fallon. Friends and coworkers say she never knew a stranger, and volunteered to repair homes for needy veterans in her spare time.  Her boss, David Holden, says, “She made friends faster than just about anybody. There are a bunch of people on our team here, and just in the local realtor community, who are heartbroken. She was immensely well-liked.”

But the mother of three was going through a nasty divorce. And once it was finally over, the disputes continued with her ex-husband, John Hannon, over property.  A close friend says she was dropping off some belongings for her ex on Monday, when Hannon opened fire on her, then turned the gun on himself, right in their cul-de-sac.

Holden says she expressed her fears to him on several occasions.  He explains, “Toni and I had some pretty lengthy conversations about her concerns for her safety, and some of the threats her ex-husband had made to her.”

Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards says Toni Hannon never alerted police or filed a restraining order.  The only time police interacted with the split couple was back in May, when a realtor found a note John Hannon left for his children. Edwards says, “It identified a life insurance policy, insurance premiums, things like that.”

Police interviewed him, but saw no red flags.  Now, as Columbia police continue to investigate this tragic crime, there’s something they want all residents to remember.  Edwards explains, “Trust your gut. When threats are made in today’s world, take them as being serious, and let us get involved, intervene, try to reduce the number of ugly crimes that are occurring.”

The chief adds that every homicide in Columbia within the past two decades has been related to domestic violence.​