Three shot, one fatally, after burglary interrupted near New Athens

Pictured are emergency responders and police on the scene of a fatal shooting near New Athens Thursday morning. (Jeff Egbert photo)

The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department said one man died and two more were injured following a shooting when a burglary was interrupted late Thursday morning in rural New Athens. On Saturday, police updated the type of vehicle sought in connection with the incident.

Shortly before 11:30 a.m. Thursday, deputies responded to a property in the 9300 block of Golden Rule Mine Road for a report of subjects shot. Upon arrival, deputies located three males with gunshot wounds outside of the home.

Pictured is a surveillance image of the vehicle wanted in connection with Thursday’s shooting near New Athens.

One male, 25-year-old Austin M. Evans-Blakey of Lenzburg, was found deceased and the other two – ages 50 and 47 – were wounded, police said. One had critical injuries and was airlifted by medical helicopter to a hospital in St. Louis. The other was transported by ambulance for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said that preliminarily, it appears the three men interrupted a burglary to the home when they arrived. Evans-Blakey was employed as a handy man by the home owner, police revealed Friday.

A vehicle of interest that left the scene is a light blue or “silver topaz metallic” Chevrolet Equinox – possibly between the years 2014-16 – with a yellow or orange light or light bar on its roof. The vehicle was initially described as a blue Chevrolet Lumina.

The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis was initially activated, but announced Monday it is ending its investigation and will be turning over all leads to the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department for follow-up investigation.

Anyone with information is now asked to call the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department at 618-825-2051.

As of Monday afternoon, there have been no suspects identified and no one has been taken into custody.

(Jeff Egbert photo)

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