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Suspect arrested in Macomb shooting previously arrested

 “We’re leaving no stone unturned," Interim Police Chief Jeff Hamer said about the investigation into the fatal shooting at a Macomb house party.
Rich Egger
“We’re leaving no stone unturned," Interim Police Chief Jeff Hamer said about the investigation into the fatal shooting at a Macomb house party.

Interim Police Chief Jeff Hamer said the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are possible.

Macomb police Monday morning identified both the deceased person and the person arrested in connection with the shooting over the weekend that injured ten others.

Jerman Beathea, 26, of Chicago was pronounced at the scene in the 500 block of North Johnson Street. He died from gunshot wounds.

The person arrested, Donnell Williams, 23, of Macomb is charged with Armed Violence. Police said he was in possession of a felony amount of illegal drugs and a firearm.

According to online court records, Williams is also facing felony drug charges in McDonough County from a previous arrest last fall.

A Western Illinois University spokesperson confirmed that Williams is a former WIU student.

Interim Police Chief Jeff Hamer said the investigation is ongoing.

“Additional arrests may be forthcoming as we develop persons of interest,” Hamer said during a briefing Monday morning at Macomb City Hall.

The shooting happened at an off-campus house party. Police were called to the scene Saturday shortly before 2 a.m.

Hamer said the gunfire erupted after an altercation. He declined to give particulars about the altercation.

“It is a complicated case. We’ve got dedicated resources not only from our department but area agencies as well,” Hamer said.

“We’re leaving no stone unturned.”

Hamer said ten others wounded in the shooting were taken to McDonough District Hospital. Some suffered superficial gunshot wounds, while others were triaged at MDH and then transferred to trauma centers in the region.

“At this time, it is believed that victims that have been treated at a hospital or trauma center will recover,” Hamer said.

Hamer said police have collected some video and photo evidence from the house party, but they’re still seeking more, even those taken an hour before the shooting. Police are asking people to send those to citizenconcerns@macombpolice.com.

Individuals with information should contact Macomb Area Crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS or (309) 836-2222.

Hamer said there is no threat to the public or the campus. However, He said the police department is stepping up patrols to reassure the public.

UPDATE: First court appearance

More details about the case were revealed when Williams appeared via video before Ninth Circuit Judge Nigel Graham Monday afternoon.

Dozens of people were at the party when the shooting happened inside the house. 11 people were struck by gunfire, including Beathea.

Williams was taken into custody late Saturday afternoon when police spotted him carry a backpack in the 300 block of North Clay St.

He admitted being at the party but denied involvement in the shooting.

After receiving a search warrant, police found 1.5 pounds of cannabis in the backpack and a 9mm handgun with no model or serial number, a so-called “ghost gun.” Graham noted Williams didn’t have a concealed carry license and his FOID card was revoked.

First Assistant State’s Attorney Susan Maxwell noted Williams was already out on bond for another felony.

Graham granted her request to set bond at $500,000.

Graham scheduled a preliminary hearing for April 12.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Copyright 2023 Tri States Public Radio. To see more, visit Tri States Public Radio.

Rich is the News Director at Tri States Public Radio. Rich grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago but now calls Macomb home. Rich has a B.A in Communication Studies with an Emphasis on Radio, TV, and Film from Northern Illinois University. Rich came to love radio in high school where he developed his “news nerdiness” as he calls it. Rich’s high school had a radio station called WFVH, which he worked at for a couple years. In college, Rich worked at campus station WKDI for three years, spinning tunes and serving at various times as General Manager, Music Director and Operations Manager. Before being hired as Tri States Public Radio’s news director in 1998, Rich worked professionally in news at WRMN-AM/WJKL-FM in Elgin and WJBC-AM in Bloomington. In Rich’s leisure time he loves music, books, cross-country skiing, rooting for the Cubs and Blackhawks, and baking sugar frosted chocolate bombs. His future plans include “getting some tacos.”
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