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Kewanee Police Release Details on the Park Ave Shooting

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Kewanee Police Department release details regarding charges against Tyler Westefer for the drive-by shooting on Park Avenue that RegionalMediaNews told you about last night.  There have been rumors around Kewanee that Tyler Westefer, 20, of Kewanee was responsible for the drive-by shooting that struck a house in the 500 block of Park Avenue multiple times. While no one was injured, one of the 14 bullets entered a house behind the target house where a mother and her infant were sleeping.  On December 1, 2022, the Kewanee Police Department presented evidence from their investigation to the Henry County State’s Attorney regarding the shooting on November 5th.

Kewanee detectives identified Westefer as a person of interest in the shooting after conducting a canvas of the area around the shooting, collecting surveillance footage, locating the suspect vehicle, interviewing multiple witnesses and corroborating statements through electronic data.  

On November 9th, officers were watching the residence of Westefer when he left his house in a vehicle driven by Samantha Engholm, 21, of Toulon, Illinois.  Engholm and Westefer led law enforcement on a high-speed pursuit through two counties that ended in their arrests south of Kewanee.  During the pursuit, a witness observed Westefer throw a gun and other items out of the vehicle.   Officers recovered a semi-automatic 9mm pistol, 32 loose 9mm rounds and two high-capacity magazines where the witness saw him throw items from the vehicle.  The Illinois State Police Crime Lab confirmed that the 14 casings located at the scene of the shooting were fired by the gun seized from Westefer during the pursuit.

The Henry County State’s Attorney approved the charges of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm within 1000 feet of a school (Class X Felony), Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm (Class 1 Felony), and Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (Class 4 Felony) for Tyler Westefer.  Westefer was in Henry County custody on previous cases and was brought before Judge James Cosby on December 1st.  Judge Cosby found probable cause for the new charges and set bond at $1,000,000.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 5, 2022 at 2 PM.

Pictured below is the 9mm handgun, 9mm bullets, high-capacity magazine drum and broken extended 9mm pistol magazine seized following the November 9th pursuit.

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