Identity of officer shot in Carbondale released

Identity of officer shot in Carbondale released
Published: Aug. 1, 2016 at 6:56 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2016 at 9:02 PM CDT
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(Source: Matt Fluegge/KFVS)
(Source: Matt Fluegge/KFVS)
(Source: Matt Fluegge/KFVS)
(Source: Matt Fluegge/KFVS)
(Source: Matt Fluegge/KFVS)
(Source: Matt Fluegge/KFVS)

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Carbondale Police Chief Jeff Grubbs has identified the officer that was shot in the line of duty.

Officer Trey Harris was shot on Sunday, July 31 just after 11:30 p.m.

Harris, 26, has been with the department since 2013.

He has been released from a St. Louis area hospital, but will require further medical treatment.

In a release, the department said, "we feel blessed to know he is able to further his recovery at home."

According to the chief, there has not been an official or authorized fundraising accounts or efforts established.

If you would like to make a monetary contribution to Harris, you are asked to bring those donations to the Carbondale Public Safety Building with checks made payable to "CPD Injured Officers Fund." You can also mail a donation to:

City of Carbondale Police Department:
"CPD Injured Officers Fund"
501 South Washington Street
Carbondale, IL 62901

The incident started in the 700 block of North Robert A. Stalls Street.

According to the Carbondale Police Department, officers on patrol in the area heard gunshots.

As the officers were headed to the scene, they found a tan, four-door Pontiac Grand Prix, driving away from the area at a high rate of speed.

The officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but the drivers would not come to a halt, resulting in a police chase.

That chase ended in the 2400 block of Dillinger Road where at least one person inside the vehicle started firing at the officers.

Officer Harris was immediately taken to Memorial Hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound.

We're told he was a passenger in the patrol car when he was hit. Grubbs would not comment on where he was hit or how many times.

He was later taken to a hospital in St. Louis for additional treatment.

According to Grubbs, the suspects are two black males, but there may have been other people in the vehicle.

He said they are working to provide better descriptions of the suspects and hope to have their identities soon.

Chief Grubbs said the suspects are considered armed and dangerous.

"Those who have information need to understand that these people are considered armed and dangerous and we do not want them engaging, we want them reporting," he said.

A minimum reward of $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to the identity, arrest, and conviction of any of the people involved in the shooting.

This afternoon, officers found the suspect vehicle abandoned and burned on Dewmaine School Road in Williamson County.

A spokesperson for Vernell's Interstate Service out of Marion towed the burned car to Illinois State Police District 13 headquarters in DuQuoin.

Illinois State Police are leading the investigation, as per the Carbondale Police Department's Policy.

During the press conference, Grubbs said, "Numerous local, state and federal agencies have joined in the investigation to bring the suspects to justice."

Carbondale Police, the Jackson County State's Attorney's Office, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and the SIU Department of Public Safety is helping with the investigation.

Grubbs had a message for the injured officer and his family: "You are all in our thoughts, you're in our prayers. We thank you for your bravery and your service to the citizens of our city."

It's been an emotional day for members of the Carbondale Police Department.

We talked exclusively with Chief Grubbs, a 25-year veteran with the department, about what it was like to get that call in the middle of the night.

"There's nothing that can prepare you for that," he said. "You've got all kinds of emotions running through you at that point. You're trying to gather yourself, obviously. It's a little before midnight so you're putting yourself in a position, not only mentally, but as far as getting all of your gear prepared to come in to try to put together an investigation that's going to be both efficient and effective. While at the same time, making sure that you're providing support to the personnel that you have, not only working now but that you know will be coming in, in the near hours and days and you start trying to plan for an expanded incident and investigation."

He described his department as a family, with veteran officers like himself working alongside young men and women like the officer shot and injured on Sunday night.

Chief Grubbs said it's hard to describe the emotions he felt when he got the call late on Sunday night that one of his officers had been shot.

Grubbs got to talk to Haris briefly.

He said the outpouring of support has been overwhelming.

He said there are close to 50 people involved in the investigation and they will be working day and night, so by coordinating the donation efforts, everyone would be able to benefit from the food and other supplies people want to bring by the department.

Carbondale's history

This isn't the first time a Carbondale police officer has been shot in the line of duty.

In August 1933, Officer Lenard Sizemore was shot and killed after being called to a peace disturbance at a "bootlegging joint."

Then in 1961, Carbondale Chief Roy Bain survived after being shot four times during a shootout at the Franklin Hotel.

In 1970, multiple Carbondale officers were injured after a gun fight with six SIU students/Black Panther members.

Three of those charged in that shooting were found not guilty and the charges were eventually dropped against the other three.

Support from the Heartland

After hearing about an officer being shot, a small group of retired officers took to the streets of Carbondale to show support for law enforcement.

They were joined by firefighters and other members of the community at the Carbondale Pavilion on Monday afternoon.

One former officer said after he heard the news, he couldn't just sit at home. He wanted to do something positive.

"Well, I heard about the Carbondale police officer that was shot last night, obviously there's been a lot of text messaging all morning long," said retired Carbondale officer Doug Brinkley. "And I know that had to hit home with a lot of officers, and especially the families, the wives and kids of police officers. I just felt like I needed to do something."

"We're representing the people that don't really stand up and say, 'Yeah, I support the police.' We know that there's more supporters than haters. We're just out here trying to wake people up and let everybody know police are people, they're family people, they're our friends and we support them," said retired Carbondale officer Rich Brunner.

Numerous drivers took the time to honk and wave as they passed the men and women with signs reading "Blue Lives Matter" and "Back the Badge."

Other agencies around the Heartland offered support to the Carbondale Police Department.

Tips can be made to Crimestoppers anonymously at 618-549-COPS (2677).

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