Two men were in custody and being questioned after Washington Park Mayor John Thornton was shot and died early Thursday, police said.
Thornton was shot three times in the chest at close range at 5:47 a.m. Thursday, St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone said. He died at 6:07 a.m. at Kenneth Hall Hospital in East St. Louis. He was 52.
The shooter was in the car with Thornton, Washington Park Chief of Detectives Kim McAfee said. Several shots were heard, the car ran off the road and hit a tree. Then the shooter jumped out and limped to a red and white Chevrolet Impala that was waiting for him.
The driver and car were found at the Roosevelt Homes public housing project and the driver was taken into custody, McAfee said. Illinois State Police Capt. Todd Kilby said Thursday afternoon that two men were in custody, the investigation was still very active but charges were not expected Thursday.
McAfee said he believes that the shooter stopped the mayor to ask for money. He said he thinks the shooter jumped in and tried to rob Thornton when he saw the mayor had more money.
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