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The Illinois State Police continue to investigate the shooting of two people – including an off-duty St. Louis city police officer by a Pontoon Beach officer – at a local sports bar Sunday morning.

The Madison County State's Attorney's Office is planning on sending the case to a grand jury "at a later date," according to a State Police press release issued Monday evening. The State Police presented information from their "preliminary investigation" Monday. The St. Louis police officer who allegedly shot a Granite City man "will be released from the Madison County Jail," the press release stated.

The two gunshot victims were reported in “critical” condition earlier Monday, according to Capt. Mark Bramlett, zone commander for the Illinois State Police in Collinsville.

“We are investigating this as two separate incidents,” Bramlett said Monday.

The names of those involved have not been released.

The incident began at about 1 a.m. Sunday when an off-duty St. Louis police officer shot a 25-year-old Granite City man in the chest during an altercation in the parking lot of Mack and ****'s Sports Bar, 5240 Nameoki Road, Pontoon Beach.

A short time later, a Pontoon Beach police officer responding to the first shooting shot a second off-duty St. Louis police officer. According to a press release by the Metropolitan Police Department of St. Louis, that officer was shot once in the head and once in the shoulder.

The injured officer was described as being 23 years old and on the force for three months.

Both shooting victims were taken to Gateway Regional Medical Center, then airlifted to St. Louis area hospitals with “critical” injuries.

The Pontoon Beach police referred questions to the Illinois State Police.

Bramlett said that they are continuing to interview witnesses and look at other evidence.

“There were an awful lot of people we talked to,” he said. “We're trying to be as absolutely thorough as possible.”

Bramlett said little else, including whether the off-duty officers were carrying their weapons in the bar.

He noted that off-duty police Missouri officers are allowed to carry their weapons in Illinois.

“There is no law that says they can't carry a weapon into a bar,” he said.

However, one of the major tenants of gun safety is that alcohol and firearms do not mix.

Bramlett also declined to say if the off-duty officers had been drinking, or how much.

“There is always a possibility that alcohol played a part,” he said.

The St. Louis Police Department's Internal Affairs office is also investigating the incident, and all officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. SUBURBAN JOURNALS
 

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St. Louis officers involved in shootings, 1 wounded

By Gail Appleson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. LOUIS - An off-duty St. Louis police officer shot a Granite City resident early Sunday morning just outside a sports bar in Granite City. Soon after, Pontoon Beach police shot an off-duty St. Louis policeman at the same location, according to the Illinois State Police.
A lawyer for the St. Louis Police Officers' Association said the officer who was wounded was not the same officer who shot the resident.
The incident began around 1 a.m. Sunday, when an off-duty police officer was leaving a wedding celebration at Mack and ****'s Place Bar, according to Albert Watkins, a lawyer representing the officer. Several St. Louis police officers and their families and friends were attending the gathering, said Watkins, whose firm is among those that represent the St. Louis Police Officers' Association.
Watkins said his client was walking across the parking lot when two assailants attacked him. The officer was struck on the forehead with a metal bar, knocking him down.
The attackers then jumped on top of the officer and continued to beat him, the lawyer said. The officer reached for his gun in his rear waistband. The weapon discharged, Watkins said, striking a 25-year-old Granite City man.
"My client did nothing that any other human being who wanted to live would not have otherwise done," Watkins said.
The officer has been on the police force for five months, and did not know his assailants or the reason for the attack, Watkins said.
Shortly after the attack, Pontoon Beach police officers arrived at the bar and shot a different off-duty St. Louis police officer, Watkins said. The wounded officer, 23, has been on the force for three months. He was shot once in the head and once in the shoulder, according to a St. Louis police spokeswoman.
Both shooting victims are in critical condition, according to the Illinois State Police, which is investigating the case. The victims' names have not been released.
Authorities in St. Louis and Illinois offered few details about the incident. Lt. James Morrisey of the Illinois State Police said an off-duty St. Louis police officer shot a Granite City resident, and a Pontoon Beach officer shot an off-duty St. Louis policman. Morrisey declined to discuss the matter further, saying a news release would be issued today.
The Pontoon Beach Police Department referred all calls to the Illinois State Police. Sgt. Gary Wiegert, president of the St. Louis Police Officers' Association, declined to comment as well. Meanwhile, a St. Louis police spokeswoman confirmed the victims condition was critical; the department's Internal Affairs division is investigating; and "the involved" officers have been placed on administrative leave.
Watkins said his client and at least two other off-duty St. Louis police officers were taken to the Illinois State Police office in Collinsville for questioning. He declined to release the name of his client, who Watkins said is being held at the St. Clair County jail as of Sunday evening.
A woman who answered the phone at Mack and ****'s Place Bar said no one wanted to comment.

Wire Service
 

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PONTOON BEACH -- The probationary St. Louis police officer who is the subject of an Illinois State Police investigation into a shooting has been dismissed from the force.
Bryan Pour, 28, was told he was dismissed from St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on Monday afternoon, said his attorney, Albert Watkins.
Pour was taken yesterday from Illinois State Police headquarters in Collinsville, where he had been held since shortly after the shooting at 1 a.m. Sunday at Mac and ****'s Bar and Grill in Pontoon Beach. He was treated for a head injury at Anderson Hospital in Maryville. He was then taken to jail while prosecutors in the office of Madison County State's Attorney William Mudge reviewed a preliminary police investigative reports.

Watkins told prosecutors that his client did not represent a flight risk. Pour was released. Prosecutors said Monday that they would take the matter before a grand jury within a few weeks.
State Police Capt. Mark Bramlett, who is leading the investigation, said Mudge has asked for more information that Bramlett said will be quickly provided.
State police presented the preliminary results of the investigation Monday to the state's attorney's office.
Witness accounts vary, but it appears:
• -About 1 a.m. Sunday a melee broke out in the bar's parking lot. Pour claims he was jumped by bar patrons and admits firing his weapon several times but doesn't recall at what, Watkins has said.
• -Jeff Bladdick, 25, of Granite City, was struck once in the chest and was listed in stable but critical condition at St. Louis University Hospital. A close relative has said Bladdick was placed in an induced coma and had a bullet lodged between his lung and heart.
• Moments later, Pontoon Beach officers, responding to a 911 call, showed up. At that time, a Pontoon Beach officer shot an armed, off-duty St. Louis police officer that Watkins identified as Christopher Hantak, 23. Hantak was listed in critical condition at the same hospital. A hospital spokesman would not release updated conditions for either man Tuesday.
Hantak graduated from the police academy in July.
Police investigators have released only very basic information.
Watkins said he is certain that four or five St. Louis police officers attended a wedding reception at the bar for one of their fellow officers, and that two of them left at one point. Pour was attacked in the parking lot, Watkins said.
"My client believes he discharged his weapon a number of times," after he was jumped by unknown assailants, Watkins said.
"There was an assertion that there was a young man from the St. Louis city department, not my client, who had talked to some young ladies at the bar and evidently irritated some men at the bar," Watkins said, "We have allegations that my client's weapon was not the actual weapon that struck the individual who was shot. But rather it was a round that was shot by the St. Louis officer, who was in turn shot by the Pontoon Beach officer. We have contradictory statements about what happened when the Pontoon Beach officer arrived."
It appeared the Bladdick was trying to come to Pour's aid, Watkins said.
Despite the number of shots his client admits he fired, Watkins said another St. Louis officer may have fired the shot that struck Bladdick.
"That's what we have been told," he said.
If the bullet lodged near Bladdick's heart cannot be removed because it would endanger Bladdick's life, Watkins said proving or disproving an allegation that Pour was the shooter "will be difficult."
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released a statement Sunday stating two officers were placed on administrative leave after the shooting.
 
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