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CHARLESTON -- A fourth person might be involved in a shooting that occurred over the weekend.

As previously reported, a Sunday shooting injured one unnamed victim in an apartment at 1436 10th St. Events following the shooting led to the arrest of Braxton J. Johnson, 22, and Brandon L. Hightower, 22, both of Charleston, but police are considering the possibility that a fourth person actually fired the shots.

Charleston police Det. Tony West said three shots were fired into the apartment from outside, based on evidence officers discovered at the scene. And according to accounts by the three involved, they were in the apartment at the time of the shooting, West said.

According to a collection of accounts of the incident, shots were fired, striking the victim through the bridge of his nose, a non-life threatening injury, and the two who were arrested fled the apartment, West said.

Neighbors reported the shots being fired, and the first officer on the scene observed a vehicle leaving. This prompted other officers to stop the vehicle, where they reportedly found Hightower and Johnson with a little over 2 pounds of marijuana in a duffle bag in 21 individually wrapped bags, West said.

Johnson also reportedly had a concealed firearm in the waistline of his pants and was arrested for armed violence, unlawful use of a weapon.

West said these gun-related charges do not pertain to the shooting, though. The armed violence charge against Johnson alleges he was armed with a dangerous weapon at the time he committed another crime -- possession of cannabis with intent to deliver.

So far, a motive for the shooting has not been discovered. West said those involved, including the victim, have been quiet on the incident and have been less than cooperative with the police.

West noted that Johnson was said to have been in a fight a few days before the incident and bruising on his face did not pertain to the incident. 

Charleston police encourage anyone with information on the shooting to contact them at 217-348- 5221 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or by calling the 9-1-1 dispatch center at 217-345-0060 after 4 p.m.

Messages can also be sent to the Charleston Illinois Police Department Facebook page or by calling the Coles County Crime Stoppers line at 866-345- 8488.



Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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