Kewanee, IL

Arrests made in South Grace Avenue shooting

Mike Berry

Three people have been arrested in connection with a shooting incident early Thursday in the 100 block of South Grace Avenue in Kewanee.

Kewanee Police Chief Nicholas Welgat issued a news release Saturday on the arrests. The release said police seized eight firearms, several hundred rounds of ammunition, methamphetamine, heroin, cannabis, packaging materials, more than $2,000 in cash and a vehicle

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Police lead a suspect to a squad car after his arrest on drug and weapons charges.Photo byKewanee Police Department

Thirteen bullets were fired at the house early Thursday morning. No one was injured, police said at the time.

Over the next 48 hours, detectives were able to identify several persons of interest, the release said. After gathering statements, physical evidence, and digital evidence, officers were able to obtain a search warrant for the residence of 504 Park Avenue in Kewanee.

Due to the involvement of weapons, the Henry County Special Operations Squad was activated to execute the warrant.

Since the residence is close to Irving School and Visitation Catholic School, police contacted officials from both schools before executing the warrant to have a lockdown of those campuses initiated out of precaution.

The two schools were on lockdown for approximately 10 minutes, according to the release.

After entry was made and the suspect secured, police advised school officials they could lift the lockdown order.

The resident of 504 Park Avenue, Justin K. Stanley, 18, of Kewanee, was located inside the residence and arrested. During the search of the residence, officers located four handguns, a full-length shotgun, a loaded sawed-off shotgun, a 7.62 rifle, approximately 350 rounds of ammunition, multiple firearm magazines, 9.7 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 1.2 grams of suspected heroin, 104.7 grams of suspected cannabis, packaging material, digital scales, a heat sealer for drug packaging, police scanners, and a surveillance system for the residence.

When entry was made, a loaded 9mm handgun with an extended magazine containing 27 rounds of ammunition was observed on a chair with Stanley’s cellular phone where methamphetamine was being packaged, according to the release.

All of the items of contraband were seized as evidence and transported to the Kewanee Police Department for processing. All of the firearms will be sent to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab for further testing.

During the search of the residence, patrol officers observed a white 2005 Chevrolet Malibu circling the area. A traffic stop was initiated with that vehicle in the 300 block of South Cottage Street.

The front seat passenger was identified as Danny H. Stanley, 38, of Kewanee, Justin Stanley’s father. A search of Danny’s person revealed that he had a loaded extended handgun magazine in his pocket containing approximately 27 rounds.

After officers had him step out of the vehicle, they observed he was also sitting on top of a loaded 380 semiautomatic handgun.

Danny Stanley was arrested for the weapons and also 2.7 grams of suspected methamphetamine found in the vehicle. Officers also seized $2,146 in cash that was on Danny’s person.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Sara L. Brimhall, 31, of Kewanee. She was arrested for possession of heroin (Class 4 Felony), driving suspended, and failure to wear a seat belt. She was given a notice to appear for her charges and released.

A backseat passenger, Daphne F. King, 21, of Galva, was arrested on a Stark County warrant. She was transported to the custody of the Stark County Sheriff’s Office. The fourth passenger was released from the scene with no charges.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., officers located Andrew R. Luce, 35, walking in the 300 block of West First Street in Kewanee. Luce was identified as another person of interest in the Grace Avenue shooting.

He also faced charges of delivery of methamphetamine from September of 2022.

Luce. Justin Stanley and Danny Stanley were taken to the Henry County Jail.

On Friday, the Henry County State’s Attorney filed 13 formal charges against Justin Stanley. His bond was set at $175,000.

The charges were Armed Violence (Class X Felony); Aggravated Unlawful Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine (Class X Felony); Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance within 500 feet of a School (Class X Felony); Unlawful Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine (Class 1 Felony); Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine (Class 2 Felony); and Unlawful Possession of Weapon (Class 3 Felony); Unlawful Possession of Cannabis (Class 4 Felony); Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 4 Felony); and five counts of Unlawful Possession of Firearm without a valid FOID card (Class A Misdemeanor).

Danny Stanley’s bond was set at $100,000 Formal charges against him are Armed Violence (Class X Felony); Unlawful Possession of a Weapon within 1000 Feet of a Public Park (Class 3 Felony); Possession of a Weapon within 1000 Feet of a School (Class 3 Felony); Possession of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 3 Felony); and Possession of Methamphetamine less than 5 grams (Class 3 Felony)

The initial formal charges were filed against Andrew Luce for his drug offenses. His bond was set at $40,000.

After further investigation and the discovery of new evidence, an additional charge was added late Friday night to Luce for the shooting that took place on South Grace Avenue. Additional bond will be officially determined by the court on Monday. Luce is also being held on a no-bond warrant from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Luce is charged width Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm (Class X Felony); Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (Class 4 Felony); Delivery of Methamphetamine Less than 5 Grams (Class 2 Felony; and Possession of Methamphetamine (Class 3 Felony)

The investigation into the shooting incident is still ongoing and police have not not ruled out additional charges or arrests that could take place in the future, the news release said. “The Kewanee Police Department and the Henry County State’s Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively investigate, deter, and prosecute violent gun crime in the Kewanee area as this type of violent behavior cannot be tolerated within our local communities,” the release said.

Anyone has any additional information related to the investigation may contact the Kewanee Police Department at (309) 853-1911.

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I am retired after 45 years in the newspaper business. I am a 1972 graduate of the College of Communications at the University of Illinois.

Kewanee, IL
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