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.