PONTOON BEACH, Ill. – It was a solemn day in Pontoon Beach, Illinois, as a long line of police vehicles escorted the body of fallen Pontoon Beach Police Officer Tyler Timmins, 36, from the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s office to a funeral home in Wood River.
Hundreds of people lined the route to pay their respects. Charges were announced against the alleged killer a few hours later.
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine has charged Scott Hyden, 31, of Highland, Illinois, with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm at a police officer, one count of unlawful possession of weapons by a felon, one count of unlawful possession of a stolen firearm, and one count of offenses relating to motor vehicles in the October 26 shooting death of officer Timmins, who was responding to a “stolen vehicle” call.
Hyden has a history of drug offenses.
“Officer Timmins approached the vehicle. The defendant, in this case, shot officer Timmins without provocation. Officer Timmins had no time to even draw his weapon,” Haine said.
Hyden remained locked up in the Madison County Jail with no bond, Wednesday night. Earlier, Highway 111 was shut down in front of the police department so the 200 or so people along the highway could safely stand near the procession to pay their respects.
There were parents who pulled their children out of school. Timmins was shot and killed at the Speedway Gas station just down the highway from the police department, shortly before 8 Tuesday morning.
People dropped what they were doing to be there when his body passed by, including the wife of a police officer from a nearby department.
“It touches us just a little bit more because it makes us worry even more. You know there’s always a risk but whenever it’s so close to home like this it just puts everything into perspective for you,” said Lynde Hockaday, who’s also a 911 telecommunicator.
“There is no greater love than a man who lays down his life for a stranger,” Pontoon Beach Police Chief Chris Modrusic said after drawing a deep breath. “Yesterday, officer Timmins paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Timmins’ wife and daughter were first in his life and police work was “close second” the chief said.
Haine said he would seek the maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.