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54-year-old found shot to death inside Belleville home

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Homicide detectives with the Belleville Police Department have a person in custody after being called to investigate the shooting death of a 54-year-old woman.

Police were called to check in on the well-being of the woman at a home on South Park Drive, near Route 161. Police arrived a little after 7 a.m. and found a man outside in front of the home.

Investigators said the man surrendered to police and was taken into custody as a person of interest.

When officers went into the home, they found the woman had been shot to death.

People who knew the woman well are stunned by her death.

“I’m overwhelmed. This is terrible," said Sheryl Graham, a family friend of the victim.

Graham said the 54-year-old woman was kind and took care of her grandmother.

“She was caring. If you needed her, she would be there for you. She was very helpful. She loved my mom, she loved me, she loved my brother, she would do anything we asked her to,” she said.

Graham said her adult brother is the person of interest who police took into custody.
Authorities said they aren’t looking for any other suspects.

Fox 2 has learned there may have been children in the home when the shooting happened. At this point, police have not released the name of the victim and no official charges have been filed.

Graham’s cousin, Sherita Thompson, was close to the victim as well.

“My heart is truly broken. This lady has been in our family—she has been nothing but a blessing to our family,” she said.

This is the second violent incident on South Park Drive this week.

This past Monday, just five blocks down the street, a man was shot in what police called a domestic incident. The man survived.

Investigators do not think the two shootings are connected.

Nonetheless, a neighbor who spoke with Fox 2 said she’s worried about the violence.

“It’s scary. It’s scary. We usually don’t have this type of thing in our neighborhood,” said Antoinette Caldwell.

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