Police officer shot in rural Brown County after pursuit

Published: Mar. 27, 2022 at 2:53 PM CDT
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Editors Note: On April 11, The Chapin Police Department named Chief of Police Steven Helmich as the victim in the March 26 shooting. According to the department, Helmich sustained two gunshot wounds and was flown to a regional Level I trauma hospital in critical condition.

BROWN Co., Ill. (WGEM) - Illinois State Police were investigating Sunday after a Chapin police officer was shot in rural Brown County on Illinois 107, just north of County road 410 N., after a man allegedly fled from a traffic stop and led police on a pursuit.

According to ISP, the Meredosia Police Department stopped Daniel B. Payne, 29, of Greenbrier, Tennessee, in Meredosia, IL for a traffic stop. They said Payne fled from the stop causing a police pursuit.

The pursuit led officers from multiple law enforcement agencies through Pike and Brown Counties. Payne’s vehicle crashed and became disabled causing the pursuit to end.

ISP reported as officers approached Payne’s vehicle, he allegedly fired and struck a 39-year-old Chapin Officer. Police said Payne surrendered after officers fired back.

ISP Trooper Elizabeth Clausing said the shooting happened at 11:15 p.m. Saturday.

According to ISP, the officer sustained serious injuries and is receiving treatment at an area hospital.

The City of Chapin President Rex Brockhouse issued a statement wishing the officer a speedy recovery.

“Our prayers and well wishes go out to the Officer and his family. We ask that everyone pray for the health and speedy recovery of this most dedicated Police Officer and outstanding individual,” Brockhouse said.

Payne was transported to an area hospital for minor injuries from the crash and has since been treated and released.

According to Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge President Chris Southwood, Payne was also shot.

“Every police officer dreads incidents like this one, that can start as a simple traffic stop and end with a potentially deadly confrontation. But both the Chapin officer who was wounded and the other officers who neutralized the gunman did not hesitate to literally put their lives on the line to stop further bloodshed,” Southwood said. “These heroes willingly placed themselves into harm’s way to protect their fellow citizens and one officer very nearly paid the ultimate price. The residents of west central Illinois should be humbly grateful for their service, and we ask that you join us in praying that the injured police officer makes a full and speedy recovery.”

Police said he has been transported to the Schuyler County Jail where he is being charged with one count of Attempted First Degree Murder of a Police Officer. His bond is set at $1,000,000 with 10% to apply.

The Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation is handling the investigation and said it is still ongoing.

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