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Franklin Jones

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Police are trying to locate the person who shot and killed one man early Wednesday and critically wounded another.

Franklin Jones, 23, of the 600 block of North 37th Street in East St. Louis, was pronounced dead at Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital.

The other shooting victim, whose name was not released, was in critical condition.

The two victims were in a car with a third person who was able to drive them to the hospital.

Police Chief Michael Baxton said police were called at 5:48 a.m. to the area of 14th Street and Lynch Avenue to investigate a call about several shots being fired.

"When officers arrived, they didn't find anyone," Baxton said. "But a short time later, the department received a call from medical personnel at Kenneth Hall Hospital."

Jones had been shot twice, once in the abdomen and once in the chest, Baxton said.

The other victim was wounded in the leg.

Jones became the city's 24th homicide victim. The city had 25 homicides during all of 2006.

"I am confident we're going to get a handle on the killings here because the people in investigations are committed to solving crime," Baxton said. "And we are making arrests. The message is getting out there that the department is serious about catching and arresting anyone who is committing crime in East St. Louis."

Baxton said officers have started to get out and walk in neighborhoods to familiarize themselves more with people.

"The citizens are participating," Baxton said. "They're letting us know what's going on in these neighborhoods, and this is how we will reduce crime."

Police have no suspects or motive in Jones' death.

"We're currently doing an intense search for the gunman," Baxton said.

Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Sept. 27, 2007
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