Centralia police investigating shootout on south side of town

UPDATE: CENTRALIA — CPD says it received a hold up alarm at Nifty Swifty’s gas station at 7 .m. Suspect was gone on arrival. Employee/victim told officers the suspect is a black male who demanded “the money” and made a gesture inferring he had a weapon, but none was seen. Suspect fled westbound on foot with an undetermined amount of money.

At 8:30 a.m. CPD began receiving multiple reports of shots fired in the area of South Poplar and East 6th streets. The suspects were gone upon officers arrival. Several shell casings were found around the intersection. CSI was contacted and processed the scene.

While officers were on scene, a male arrived on foot, claiming to be a victim of the shooting. The male’s identity is being withheld. The male reported a vehicle pulled up to the stop sign at the intersection. A black male who he didn’t know stepped out of the passenger side and started shooting at the reported victim. The victim ran from the area. No one has reported being struck by the bullet.

CPD says the incidents do not appear related to eachother or any other recent incidents.

ORIGINAL STORY: CENTRALIA — Due to a reported possible danger in the community today, Central City Grade School was placed under a Code White this morning. Superintendent Tim Brannon says under a Code White, doors are locked and children are kept inside.

CSI working scene of Friday morning shootout at Sixth and Poplar streets.
CSI working scene of Friday morning shootout at Sixth and Poplar streets.

Centralia schools, however, have not been placed under such caution. Centralia City Schools Superintendent Craig Clark says police have contacted his office and he understands what has been happening in town today, but his office has not been informed of any need to lock down their schools.

According to Centralia Police Chief Doug Krutsinger,the first incident Friday morning was a reported armed robbery of the Swifty’s Gas Station on the west side of town.

The second was what Krutsinger described as a “shootout” on the south side of town. No injuries have been reported in that incident and no arrests have been made.

Krutsinger says two groups of people were apparently shooting at eachother, with one group in front of a house at Sixth and South Poplar, and the other group near a home at Sixth and Elm.

He says the Illinois State Police Crime Unit has been called to the scene to assist in the investigation. He hopes that some of the shell casings collected at the scene will match to casings collected from other incidents in town.

Both incidents remain under investigation.