MADISON COUNTY, Ill. – Two police officers were involved in the fatal shooting of a man who pulled out a BB gun and pointed it at them early Tuesday morning at Moe’s Corner in Wood River, Illinois.
A woman working at Moe’s Corner located at Wood River Avenue and Edwardsville Road was closing down for the night at about 1:40 a.m. when she had an encounter with 31-year-old Tyler M. Marler in front of the gas station. During this encounter, she saw a gun on him.
The woman then went across the street to a nearby Jack in the Box and called the police. About one hour later, a Wood River Police officer and an East Alton Police officer found the same man outside of Moe’s Corner.
Wood River Police Chief Brad Wells said when the officers tried to speak with the man, he pulled a BB gun out of his pocket and moved it towards the officers. That is when the Wood River officer and the East Alton officer both opened fire.
The sound of gunshots awakened Chris Wreath, who lives right across the street.
“I’m a light sleeper. So, I woke up from the first shot,” Wreath said. “Then I heard like five more. I was like, ‘That doesn’t sound like fireworks.’ I woke up my girlfriend and I was like, ‘I think I heard gunshots.’”
He looked out his window and saw police standing over the man, who was taken to a medical facility in Wood River and later airlifted to St. Louis University Hospital.
Marler was pronounced dead around 3:00 a.m. Both of the officers were uninjured in the incident and will be on administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.
Illinois State Police have taken over the investigation.