BELLEVILLE, Ill. – A teenager mistakenly kills his accomplice while shooting into a home.
A 16-year-old has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a Belleville 18-year-old while he was trying to fire shots into a house. In doing so, one of the rounds hit the older teen, police said Friday.
The 16-year-old, Quantez Jones (pictured left), has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm, Belleville Police Capt. Matt Eiskant and St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced at a news conference Friday.
Deveon Hunt (pictured right) was shot and killed a little after 10 p.m. Sunday evening in an alley behind West Main Street in Belleville. Police were nearby when the shots rang out. As a result, they responded quickly to multiple 911 calls of gunfire in the area, reported Belleville News-Democrat. Consequently, they arrived on scene within a minute, Eiskant said earlier this week.
Eiskant said the suspect and Hunt were friends, and were walking in the alley behind the 7600 block of West Main after 10 p.m. Sunday. However, the two decided to fire upon a home there, he said.
“Our victim and suspect were walking down the alley, walked up on a house unknown to them, and committed a crime,” Eiskant said, “by firing multiple rounds into the home. The home was occupied at the time, but no one inside was injured.”
The teens were “staggered in their stances,” Eiskant said; with Hunt somewhat in front of the suspect.
“And the suspect, Quantez Jones, struck the victim, Deveon Hunt, with a round of ammunition resulting in his death,” Eiskant said.
Eiskant confirmed the shooting death appears accidental. Yet that will not matter based upon the law.
Kelly, the prosecutor, said that although Jones may not have been trying to shoot Hunt, he still can be charged with murder under Illinois’ felony murder law. According to the statute, a person can be charged with first-degree murder if he or she commits a felony, and a person dies during the commission of the felony. In this case, Kelly said, Hunt died while Jones was committing a felony — shooting at the house.
Eiskant specifically withheld some details so the investigation would not be compromised. Hence, where the teens acquired the guns, why they decided to shoot at that particular house, and what kinds of weapons they used, would be saved for trial, he said.
Kelly declined to say more about the suspect.
“If he had a record, we could not talk about it. And if the victim had a record (as a juvenile), we could not talk about it,” Kelly said.
Juvenile Quantez L Jones charged w/1st degree murder after arrest by MajorCaseSquad.Police say he shot friend during commission of felony pic.twitter.com/IgBfmrkqOP
— Mark Griffin (@mgriffin_kmov) November 3, 2017
Jones, who is 16-years-old, has been charged as an adult. Defendants ages 16-18 that are charged with certain crimes, including murder, automatically have their cases handled in adult court.
The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was activated the night of the shooting, and announced on Thursday morning that a suspect was in custody and the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office was reviewing a “lengthy” case.
“We dig into everything. It generates a lot of leads and a lot of reports,” Eiskant said on Thursday. He said the public, including local businesses, had been very helpful during the investigation.
Hunt’s father, Eric Deboe, earlier this week said his eldest son had worked at the KFC on West Main for two years. Moreover, he played football and ran track at school, but had stopped attending Belleville West.
“He started getting in trouble… with the law,” his brother Sir Deboe told reporters earlier this week.
Hunt was previously convicted of aggravated battery for the beating of a man in O’Fallon, and mob action, according to Belleville News-Democrat. As a result, he was on probation for the offense.
“I try to push all the kids to go into the military and get out of here,” Eric Deboe said.
Hunt’s killing was the first homicide inside Belleville city limits in 2017, according to police.
(Photo source via Belleville News-Democrat)