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June 17, 2024

Shots Fired: IDOT Employee Retrieved Personal Firearm and Fired Shot(s) After Workplace Prank –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 31, 2022

West City, IL. (Franklin County) – (ECWd) –

We received a tip about a firearm incident on IDOT property at their West City Building.

We now have two separate confirmations from separate state officials that an IDOT employee fired shots on IDOT property in West City, Illinois around mid-March, and that the Illinois State Police and Illinois Department of Transportation are investigating the incident.

The tip indicated there was a workplace “prank” where this employee’s fellow workers placed a fake snake near him, and he jumped up, went to his vehicle, retrieved his firearm, and started shooting. The tip did not indicate if anything was hit or if anyone was injured, and did not indicate how many times he fired his firearm, nor what type of firearm he was in possession of.

Our Freedom of Information Act request to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s FOIA Officer was responded to within minutes, stating they do have records but are withholding them in their entirety under Section 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(d)(ii) of the Act, which exempts certain records, but only to the extent that disclosure would “interfere with active administrative enforcement proceedings conducted by the public body that is the recipient of the request.” The FOIA response also stated the incident is still under investigation.

We also sent a FOIA request to the Illinois State Police, West City Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff, and a media inquiry to IDOT – these four have not responded as of publication.

It is also our understanding this IDOT employee is also an elected municipal official of a municipality in Franklin County.

We are seeking more information and will report anything we receive, along with the IDOT employee’s name, as soon as it becomes available.



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  • Judith Jenkins
    Posted at 16:55h, 31 May Reply

    And it’s ridiculous BS like this that penalizes the rest of us who are responsible gun owners. I hope all are punished.

  • Hugh Askew
    Posted at 21:12h, 31 May Reply

    IDiOT is no different than any other state run entity, it’s run by incompetent political hacks and corrupt to the core. I don’t appreciate my tax money being spent on pranks and foolishness, now get to work!

  • Greg G
    Posted at 16:33h, 01 June Reply

    I worked for IDOT for 25 years, I remember no firearms were allowed on the state property, But like everything that went on at IDOT it depended on who you were.. Fire the employee and the rest of them will get the message!

  • Greg G
    Posted at 06:24h, 02 June Reply

    Read the employee handbook, “No firearms allowed on state property” This employee needs 30 day without pay pending discharge! Who cares if he is an elected official, He should know better.

  • Sgt. Joe Friday (LAPD Ret.)
    Posted at 09:50h, 02 June Reply

    Ha! Perhaps he was firing at the fake snake? : ) Perhaps it was a model of a Timber Rattler or a Water Moccasin.
    The pranksters should also be disciplined in some manner. I suspect they knew the wild man with the gun had a snake phobia and they exploited it to its full extent. The nuances of this story will undoubtedly be interesting when all of the facts are revealed.

  • Kevin V
    Posted at 10:38h, 02 June Reply

    I say not only TERMINATE the employee that fired the gun on state property against rules BUT ALSO FIRE the employees that were responsible for the so called “prank” in the first place! How many times do you roll past an IDOT work site only to see about 10 workers standing around doing nothing or leaning on a shovel or guardrail while maybe 1 or 2 are actually working! And if they have time to “prank” someone on their phobias then they have too many people at the job site.

  • Kevin V
    Posted at 10:52h, 02 June Reply

    Not only should they TERMINATE the guy that brought the pistol and fired the shots at the fake snake, they need to FIRE the workers that perpetrated the “prank” in the first place! If they have all that free time to bully someone about a phobia then IDOT has too many workers. HOW MANY TIMES DO WE ROLL BY A ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND SEE 10 WORKERS STANDING AROUND WATCHING 2 GUYS WORKING?

  • Robert O Bogue
    Posted at 21:34h, 06 June Reply

    Kevin, your thoughts are appreciated, but here’s another point of view. Yes, there often appears to be too many highway workers doing very little, but appearances can be deceiving. I’m sure, at times, you’re correct on this. But, having been in the armed services as well as a retired IDOT employee…there’s a lot that’s being overlooked.
    The people you see in the field are just the troops doing what they are ordered to do. It takes lots of coordination and personnel, all working together to insure safety in the traffic environment they work in. Processes mandates and procedures established by IDOT’s upper management are at play here, none of which are controlled by the field workers. Everything is measured, counted, weighed and inspected. Inspectors only watch and document. Engineers also visit job sites. If in IDOT’s judgement 6 men are needed for safety but 4 might work, well, you’ll see six. IDOT places safety first and sometimes there has to be some reserve on site.
    Give them some credit. You might appreciated them a little more if you had to stand by and flag distracted drivers all day, in the heat of the summer sun and next to a blazing hot asphalt machine. Dodging motorists, anticipating their moves, and surviving is all part of their job. It’s not an easy task. Highway maintainers are killed every year on Illinois Highways.

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