Manhunt ends with suspect in custody

A suspect in an alleged Union County burglary was taken into custody without resistance at approximately 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel reported in a news release that a plainclothes detective from the sheriff’s office spotted the suspect, identified as Dejun D. Booker, 26, near a residence at 1840 Morgan School Rd., which is west of Jonesboro.

Booker subsequently was taken into custody without incident with assistance from the Illinois State Police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A manhunt had been underway around the clock since the early morning hours of Monday, Sept. 5.

Authorities from the following law enforcement agencies participated in the two-day search:

Union County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Anna Police Department, the Cobden Police Department and the Jonesboro Police Department.

Booker is being held at the Jackson County Jail in Murphysboro on two counts of armed violence and one count of burglary. His bond was set at $500,000.

State Police Report Details

Illinois State Police District 13 at Du Quoin posted the following information about the manhunt in Union County on its Facebook page:

“WARE, ILLINOIS – On Sunday, September 4, 2016, a group of five suspects burglarized Revlon Tavern, east of Ware, IL. “Union County Deputies, Anna and Cobden Police Department Officers secured four of the suspects. One suspect escaped on foot and a gunshot was heard as he fled. No officers were injured.

“On Monday morning, September 5, 2016, a Union County Deputy observed a person matching the description of the suspect that fled, in the area 2 miles east of Ware off of Illinois Route 146 near Dug Hill Lane.

“Additional Union County Deputies and Cobden Police Department Officers arrived and a perimeter was set up with the assistance of Illinois State Police Districts 22, 13, SWAT, and Air Operations, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department personnel.

“The suspect, identified as Dejun D. Booker, is reportedly armed with a handgun. Booker is a 26 year old black male standing 6’-1”, weighing 240 pounds. He is described as having a muscular build and shoulder length dreadlocked hair. He was last seen wearing gray pants and no shirt.

“Booker is considered armed and dangerous. If members of the public see Booker, do not approach him. Immediately contact 911, Union County Sheriff’s Department at (618) 833-5500, or the Illinois State Police at (618) 542-2171.”

Shawnee Schools Closed Tuesday

The Shawnee School District at Wolf Lake was not in session on Tuesday as a result of the manhunt.

The district planned to reopen for classes on Wednesday.

The following message was posted Tuesday morning on the district’s Facebook page:

“The manhunt is over and the fugitive is in custody. Thank you law enforcement personnel for keeping the citizens of Union County safe. School will resume tomorrow, Wednesday, September 7th.”

The district posted two messages on Facebook on Monday as the situation was unfolding.

The first message posted on Monday was addressed to Shawnee School District No. 84 parents. The message, from District 84 superintendent Shelly Clover-Hill, read:

“The manhunt continues for the armed and dangerous suspect in Union County.

“We have taken extra precautions and canceled all practices and events scheduled for today.

“I am in contact with the Union County Sheriff’s Department and a decision regarding school tomorrow has not been made yet.

“I will notify you as I have more information to share. It would be a good idea for you to make child care arrangements for tomorrow just in case the need arises. However, school has not been canceled at this time.

“Please join me in keeping law enforcement personnel in your thoughts as they search for the suspect. Their efforts to keep the citizens of Union County safe is greatly appreciated. Please stay safe. Ms. Clover-Hill”

The second message was posted later on Monday and read:

“Due to the manhunt in Union County, Shawnee #84 will not be in session on Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

“All practices and activities are canceled. Employees - do not report to work until you receive further instruction from the administration. The campus is closed to everyone. Please stay safe.”

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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