East St. Louis man sentenced in connection with Washington Park shooting


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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A 28-year-old East St. Louis man was sentenced Monday to 9 years in federal prison for a February 2018 shooting in Washington Park, US Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Steven Weinhoeft said.

According to court documents, the Washington Park shooting occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 18 in the 1300 block of North 50th Street. Two adults, a man and woman, were injured in that shooting.

A short time later, East St. Louis police were summoned to a McDonald’s restaurant at 24th and State streets as part of the shooting investigation.

Officers surrounded an SUV idling in the drive-thru lane at the McDonald’s and noticed a man in the front passenger seat was armed with a loaded Norinco SKS semi-automatic rifle. The armed individual was identified as Antoine Johnson Jr.

Prosecutors said Johnson and the driver refused to comply with police instructions to exit the vehicle. Police said Johnson pointed the rifle in their direction and they opened fire.

The driver attempted to speed away but he crashed into a nearby utility pole. Johnson and the driver were arrested at the scene.

Johnson suffered a gunshot wound to his hip and a shrapnel injury to one of his eyes.

Johnson had been on probation in St. Clair County for a 2015 aggravated robbery conviction.

Prosecutors said investigators were able to link Johnson and the rifle to the Washington Park shooting.

Johnson admitted to using the rifle and firing 11 shots at the Washington Park home. In January 2019, he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm as a felon. He also agreed to plead guilty in St. Clair County Circuit Court to one count of aggravated battery with a firearm.

His sentence in the aggravated battery case will run consecutively to his federal sentence.

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