Man charged with murder in connection with shooting, standoff ordered to have fitness evaluation

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Willie Minor

The man accused in a broad daylight fatal shooting in East Moline that led to a 5 hour stand-off with police now says he doesn’t understand what is happening to him.  

Willie Minor was scheduled for a preliminary hearing this morning in Rock Island County Court, but now a judge has authorized a fitness evaluation    

His attorney asked Minor to consider waiving his preliminary hearing, due to concern about media interest in the case might taint the eventual jury pool.    

During such a hearing, evidence is presented to prove there is sufficient probable cause for the case to move forward.  Even after spending several hours talking with his court appointed public defender, Minor claimed to be having difficulty understanding what was going on.

Rock Island County State’s Attorney John McGehee says it’s highly unusual for a question of fitness to center around a defendant’s intellectual competency, rather than his or her mental health.  

Moline psychologist Keith Witherspoon will conduct the evaluation, which will include tests to determine Minor’s intellectual abilities and IQ, including a look at his school records.  The state may order its own evaluation, if it disagrees with Witherspoon’s findings.  

When a defendant is found unfit to stand trial for reasons of mental illness, they are sent for treatment until they are deemed by the courts to be mentally well enough to participate in their own defense. But when intellectual deficits are the reason they are unfit, there are no treatments to restore fitness.

There is currently another case in RI County involving a man accused of arson, Jason Anderson, who was found to have the mental capacity of an 8 year old.  

A hearing is scheduled in the next two weeks to determine whether Anderson will be released or kept in the custody of the Department of Human Services.

EARLIER REPORT

A Davenport man charged with first degree murder in connection with an East Moline shooting and standoff in February had a fitness evaluation ordered in court Tuesday.

Willie Minor will have a psychiatric evaluation conducted, then will either be transferred to a facility for treatment to restore his fitness to stand trial or move forward with the preliminary hearing.

Minor’s public defender argued in a preliminary hearing Tuesday that Minor “just doesn’t understand what is going on” and had advised his client not to have a preliminary hearing because of concerns the media could taint the jury pool.

Minor acknowledged receiving that recommendation by mail, but said, “I don’t understand a lot of big words” and decided to proceed. Minor and his lawyer then discussed the situation further in private before the judge decided there was legitimate doubt about Minor’s competence to stand trial.  

A status hearing is scheduled for April 3.

EARLIER REPORT

The East Moline Police Department released the mug shot of the man charged with first degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Jon Keener earlier this week.

Police said the delayed release was “beneficial for our investigation regarding eyewitness interviews.”

EARLIER REPORT

EAST MOLINE — Multiple agencies in the Quad Cities teamed up with the East Moline Police Department to peacefully end a standoff yesterday evening. 

29-year old Willie Minor is charged with first-degree murder for the shooting death of 52-year-old Jon Keener of Cordova, Illinois.

After the shooting, police were involved in a 4 1/2 hour standoff with five people inside a home near Kennedy Drive and 3rd Street. All five eventually surrendered.

It was a combination of timely information and negotiations to the peaceful end of yesterday’s standoff. But most importantly it was teamwork that made it successful.  

“Very uncomfortable it shouldn’t happen in anyone’s neighborhood, ” said East Moline neighbor. 
Hours into Tuesday’s standoff in East Moline highly trained officers surrounded this house, where a suspect was hiding.

“We focused at the task at hand of resolving the situation in the house. That was the one thing we were worried about,” said Moline Detective Michael Griffin. 

They had to anticipate how a homicide suspect., capable of killing in daylight on a neighborhood street would react.

We didn’t want the offenders or the people in the residence, we didn’t want them to get hurt . We don’t want none of us want to discharge our firearms at them,” said Griffin.

During those cold four and a half hours, with the community wondering how this would end.

“I’d come out front and I’d watch and see what’s going on and see what the process was,” said Griffin.
Multiple law enforcement agencies relied on their heavy training and teamwork to arrest Willie Minor and other suspects without incident.

“We work long and hard so we don’t put ourselves in unnecessary situations,” said Griffin.

They used armored tools and vehicles like a bearcat, a robot and a drone to approach the dangerous area while keeping themselves protected.

“We exhaust all opportunities for them to come out peacefully no matter how long it was going to take,” said Griffin. “We had a good perimeter established. Those people were not going to get out of the house and harm anyone else in the neighborhood.”

A frightening day for neighbors watching everything unfold a few feet away, but were glad no one else was hurt despite how long it took.

“They handled it fine, but it should’ve been done with it a lot sooner.”‘

The motive for the shooting has not been determined. East Moline Police say a firearm has been recovered.

For now, mugshots of those arrested are not being released. Police are still gathering more information and witness testimony and are requesting they not be shown until that process is complete.

They ask anyone with information to give them a call.

EARLIER UPDATE

A Davenport man has been charged with first degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting in East Moline on Tuesday. 

The East Moline Police Department arrested Willie Minor, 29, in connection with the shooting death of Jon Keener, 52. Keener is previously from Cordova, but was currently living in Muscatine.

The Rock Island County States Attorney has filed first degree murder charges and Minor is currently being held in the Rock Island County Jail on $5,000,000 bond.

Police officers discovered Keener lying on the south side of the roadway edge and suffering
from a gunshot wound to the head. Tuesday at approximately 11:20 a.m. after multiple 911 calls reporting a shooting near the intersection of 3rd Street and 15th Avenue in East Moline. 

Keener was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

Police were able to develop information through eyewitnesses that a subject had fled the scene and went into a residence south of 15th Avenue at Kennedy Drive. The Crisis Containment Unit responded and negotiated with occupants to exit the residence. The situation came to a peaceful resolution at 4:08 p.m.

Several people from the residence were detained, including Minor, while the investigation continued well into overnight hours. Police did recover a firearm during the investigation.

Police are looking for anyone with information of any kind to contact the East Moline Police Department at 309-752-1546 or Crime Stoppers at 309-762-9500. No mugshot is available at this time. 

EARLIER UPDATE

The man who died in a shooting Tuesday morning in East Moline has been identified.

Rock Island coroner Brian Gustafson tells Local 4 News the victim was Jon W. Keener, 52, of Cordova.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate Keener died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Keener was pronounced dead yesterday afternoon at Genesis-Illini Hospital in Silvis.

EARLIER REPORT

Rock Island County coroner Brian Gustafson tells Local 4 News a 52-year-old man from Cordova was pronounced dead this morning at Illini Hospital in Silvis.  

An autopsy on the victim is scheduled for tomorrow. 

East Moline Police, the Illinois State Patrol, the Illinois Department of Criminal Investigation and the Rock Island County Coroner’s office is calling this an open and active investigation.  We will have more as it becomes available.

Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to call police at 309-797-0402 or Crime Stoppers at 309-762-9500.

EARLIER REPORT

 A more than four-hour standoff has ended with five people in custody after a man was shot in East Moline on Tuesday morning.

Police said witnesses reported someone ran from the scene of the shooting near 15th Avenue and 3rd Street. 

K-9 dogs tracked the runner to a house near Kennedy Drive and 15th Avenue.

Five people came out of the house during the standoff — four men and one woman.

Police do not know if anyone else was in the house, but at this time the house has been cleared and police believe the public is safe.

No weapon has been recovered.

We’ll have more from police on Local 4 News at 6.

EARLIER UPDATE

Police are clearing the scene and have called a media briefing.

EARLIER UPDATE

One man has surrendered to police.

EARLIER REPORT

A standoff is ongoing after one person was shot in East Moline on Tuesday.

Police confirmed to Local 4 News that one person was shot this morning.

Police responded to a call of gunfire near 15th Avenue and 3rd Street in East Moline before Noon.

Police are outside a house near Kennedy Drive and 15th Avenue, directing someone to come out.

Police said that there is not a direct threat to the public at this time, but that people should avoid the area.

Hillcrest Elementary is holding approximately 40 students from bus routes in the affected area of police activity at Kennedy Drive and 15th Avenue.  

Parents can respond to the school directly to pick the students up or call Hillcrest Elementary at 309-755-7621. East Moline School District #37 is holding students from being dropped off in the area to ensure complete student safety. 

Our Lady of Grace at 602 17th Avenue locked down their students. They were contacting parents when we contacted the school around 3.

IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union 351 17th Avenue tells Local 4 News they closed their doors for the rest of the day after learning of the incident for the safety of their customers and employees.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to Local 4 News, Fox 18 News and OurQuadCities.com for updates.

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