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PONTOON BEACH, Ill. – People across the St. Louis area are mourning the death of a Pontoon Beach, Illinois, police officer who was killed in the line of duty Tuesday morning. 

The shooting took place around 7:50 a.m. at the Speedway gas station near the intersection of Illinois 111 and Interstate 270. Illinois State Police say Officer Tyler Timmins approached a person in a suspected stolen red Toyota Tacoma. That individual then started firing at Timmins.

The suspect was arrested at the scene. It is unclear why the suspect opened fire. The suspect’s identity has not been released.

Illinois State Police are handling the investigation. 

Witness Russell Morrow told Fox 2 News he heard six or seven shots. He helped officers load the critically wounded Timmins into a police cruiser.   

“In war zones, you see stuff like this. Seeing a civilian, a cop being shot. Yeah, that shook me up. I was just trying to be a good Samaritan, trying to help,” he said.  

Timmins was airlifted from a hospital in nearby Granite City to St. Louis University Hospital but medical teams could not save him. 

Police from across the St. Louis area then gathered for a procession with his body to the St. Louis City morgue. By early Tuesday evening, a memorial of notes, flags, flowers, and stuffed toys was growing atop a Pontoon Beach police cruiser outside the small Madison County Department.  

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department was handling police calls in Pontoon Beach.   

The sheriff called Timmins death a crushing blow for everyone, saying Timmins was from a well-known law enforcement family. He even married a police officer just last month.      

Granite City Schools were posting this message on their marquees, Tuesday night: “RIP Officer Timmins. We are one.”

Timmons was a police officer in Madison County for 14 years, serving with Roxana, Worden, and Hartford Police Departments. He joined the Pontoon Beach Police Department in April of 2020.