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Law & Order

Pontoon Beach police officer dies after being shot at a gas station

Crime scene investigators walk pass the Pontoon Beach squad car on Oct. 26. Two bullet holes can be seen on the back quarter of the car.
Derik Holtmann
/
Belleville News-Democrat
Crime scene investigators walk pass the Pontoon Beach squad car on Tuesday. Two bullet holes can be seen on the back quarter of the car.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published by the Belleville News-Democrat, a news partner of St. Louis Public Radio.

The Pontoon Beach police officer who was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital after being shot at a gas station Tuesday morning has died from his injuries, Illinois State Police confirmed.

Tyler Timmins approached what he suspected to be a stolen vehicle at the Speedway gas station at the intersection of Illinois 111 and Interstate 270. The male suspect began firing at Timmins, Illinois State Police Trooper Jayme Bufford said.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, was taken into custody at the scene, she said.

Timmons, 36, was a police officer in Madison County for 14 years, serving with Roxana, Worden and Hartford Police Departments. He joined the Pontoon Beach Police Department in April of 2020.

Pontoon Beach police requested assistance from the Illinois State Police Zone 6 Crime Scene Unit after the shooting occurred shortly before 8 a.m.

Fox2 News reported that a helicopter was on standby at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City. Police tape surrounded a portion of the parking lot. At about 8:30 a.m., the officer was taken by stretcher from the emergency room to the helicopter.

Pontoon Beach police vehicles were stationed outside St. Louis University Hospital by 9:15 a.m. Officers from other jurisdictions also arrived as a show of support.

Following his death, Timmins’ body was transported from the hospital to the St. Louis medical examiner’s office, escorted by a procession of police cars.

Officers from the Illinois State Police, Pontoon Beach Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives remained at the scene of the shooting. Evidence markers surrounded a red pickup truck parked at a gas pump, its driver’s side door standing open.

The cruiser Timmins was driving had a pair of bullets holes above the rear, driver’s side wheel.

Investigators also were looking in a storm water ditch at the front of the gas station.

“The investigation is in its infancy,” Bufford said.

Timmins is the second metro-east police officer to be killed in the line of duty this year. In August, Bryan Pierce, 24, of the Brooklyn Police Department was hit by car on the McKinley Bridge trying to deploy spike strips.

Carolyn P. Smith is a reporter with the Belleville News-Democrat, a news partner of St. Louis Public Radio.

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