The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) issued the following statements Sunday on the line-of-duty death of Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Weist, who died April 29 after he was struck by a car driven by a fleeing crime suspect:

Illinois FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood

“Simple words cannot express the profound grief we feel at the loss of our friend, colleague and law enforcement brother Nick Weist,” Illinois FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood said. “Nick died performing a job he loved, protecting the citizens of Knox County, and his heroic sacrifice will always be remembered.”

Illinois FOP Labor Council Executive Director Shawn Roselieb:

“Every law enforcement officer knows the worst can happen every time they go to work, but heroes like Nick still put on a badge every day to serve and protect their fellow citizens,” said Shawn Roselieb, Executive Director of the FOP Labor Council, the labor union that represents Knox County Sheriff’s Deputies. “Nick was a dedicated public servant. His loss touches everyone, and he will be deeply and sorely missed.”

The Fraternal Order of Police, founded in 1915, is the largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. With a proud tradition of officers representing officers, the FOP is the most respected and most recognized police organization in the country, according to its release.

The Illinois FOP, chartered in 1963, is the second largest State Lodge, proudly representing more than 34,000 active duty and retired police officers — more than 10 percent of all FOP members nationwide.

The scene of the fatal crash April 29, where Knox County Deputy Nicholas Weist was struck and killed by a fleeing suspect, at U.S. 150 and Oxford Road in Henry County.

On April 29, about 8 a.m., Galesburg Police Department Officers responded to a 911 call of a suspect with a gun at the Circle K Gas Station on Main Street in Galesburg. Two Galesburg Officers located the suspect vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop, the release says. 

The suspect, Daylon K. Richardson, 22, Granite City, Ill., continued to drive and fled north on U.S. Highway 150.

Weist, the 34-year-old Knox County Deputy, began setting up spike strips at the intersection of U.S. 150 at 150 Avenue in Henry County, when he was struck by the suspect vehicle, which crashed in a field north of the intersection. Weist died from his injuries.

Daylon K. Richardson (photo: Illinois State Police)

Richardson is being held at Henry County Jail without bond until a preliminary hearing on May 9.

The Henry County State’s Attorney approved these charges against him: two counts of murder (Class M Felony), unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon (Class 2 Felony), and aggravated fleeing and eluding (Class 4 Felony).