A 23-year-old Rock Island man has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for his part in an armed robbery nearly a year ago.

Shauntez Thomas waived a jury trial and pleaded guilty to armed robbery, a Class X Felony, according to court records. On Dec. 19, 2022, he was sentenced to serve 23 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, with credit for time served. Appeal rights were given.

Shauntez D. Thomas (photo: Rock Island Police Department)

A fatal incident in 2022

The Rock Island Police Department responded shortly before 11 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, to a report of an armed robbery that had just occurred at Blackhawks Tobacco & Vape, 2733 18th Ave.

According to a news release, three masked suspects, one armed with a handgun, entered the store and began threatening employees and demanding merchandise. During the robbery, an employee pulled out a handgun and fired several shots at the suspects were last seen running away from the scene.

Shortly after this call, a caller reported that someone with a gunshot wound was in the 1700 block of Lincoln Court. When officers arrived, they discovered that the wounded subject had been transported by private vehicle to Genesis Medical Center, East Campus, in Davenport.

About 11:11 p.m., Davenport Police, Fire and Medic responded to the area around 1400 West Locust Street, Davenport, at Taco Bell in reference to the report of a gunshot victim. Upon arrival, officers found a man who had suffered a gunshot wound. Preliminary information determined that it was related to the Rock Island shooting. The man was pronounced dead at Genesis.

Officers later found a second wounded person in the 2100 block of 16th Avenue. This subject was transported by Rock Island Fire Department Ambulance to UnityPoint Trinity Hospital. The subject was reported to be in serious but stable condition.

Both men were identified as two of the three suspects involved in the armed robbery, police allege in the release. Thomas was identified as the third.

Members of the Davenport Police Department took Thomas into custody Sunday, Jan.  23, 2022, for a parole violation warrant. On Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, the Rock Island Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division obtained an arrest warrant for Thomas for the charge of armed robbery, a Class X felony.

No charges have been filed against the vape shop clerk.