Butler County Times Gazette
  • Officer Groom fatally shot by theft suspect

  • Candlelight vigil held Sunday eve at security firm


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  • EAST?ST. LOUIS - A 24-year-old man was charged with murder Thursday in connection with the shooting death of a Schnucks security guard Tuesday, April 14.
    Rodney L. Wesley was charged with the killing. Police said he grabbed Wayne Groom's gun and shot him in the back of his head and in his right leg.
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    Groom, 43, is the son of?Don and Judy Nicely of rural Augusta. He attended schools here.
    He had worked at Hamilton Security & Investigations for the past five years.
    A company spokesperson said, “All of  us here at Hamilton Security are deeply saddened by his death.  Wayne was a dedicated employee.  It is truly a loss and we along with many others will miss him.”
    A candlelight vigil was held Sunday evening on the company parking lot.
    - - -
    Wesley had been caught for allegedly shoplifting from the store, and Groom had taken him to the back of the store where they got into a scuffle. The suspect then took the victim's gun, shot him and fled on foot.
    Probationary East St. Louis Patrolman Kristopher Weston chased and caught the suspect, who was taken to the East St. Louis City Jail.
    East St. Louis Police Detective Marion Riddle said Wesley was to be taken to the county jail later Thursday. His bail was set at $2 million.
    Groom had worked for Hamilton Security & Investigations in O'Fallon, Ill.
    The store at 2511 State St. reopened Wednesday.
    Groom is survived by two grown children. A trust fund was set up Wednesday to help the family with expenses. Donations can be made to the Wayne Groom Memorial Fund in care of Hamilton Security, 4925 Stonefalls, Suite C, O'Fallon, IL 62269.
     
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