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Mayhem in Du Quoin: Shooting suspect charged; house burns to ground

  • The site of 752 N. Division St. looks like a muddy field Thursday afternoon.

    The site of 752 N. Division St. looks like a muddy field Thursday afternoon.
    Renee Trappe photo

  • Dustin W. Goodwin

    Dustin W. Goodwin

By Renee Trappe
updated: 11/4/2019 2:18 PM

A swath of muddy ground at 752 N. Division St. in Du Quoin is all that's left of the place where police engaged in a wild shootout early Wednesday morning, and where the house burned to the ground before firefighters could even attempt to save it.

Dustin W. Goodwin, 40, the man accused of firing at law enforcement, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder, the Perry County state's attorney's office has confirmed. He is currently in the Perry County Jail on $5 million bond, authorities confirm.

No court date has been set, according to a news release from Trooper Greg Miller of the Illinois State Police. Goodwin did have a short court appearance Thursday where he was assigned a public defender, an official in the state's attorney's office said.

Du Quoin Fire Department Capt. Will Riggio said firefighters were staged at Cole and Division from about 3:30 a.m. to about 9:45 a.m., unable to move up to the scene and fight the house fire, because the shooting was still live. Only after Goodwin was apprehended were firefighters able to bring their equipment up to the house.

"It was a total loss by then," Riggio said, adding they believe the fire started shortly after 3:30 a.m.

Firefighters then assisted by the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office and the Illinois State Police crime investigation. They did not completely clear the scene until 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and were back for about four hours on Thursday, Riggio added.

How the fire started has not been determined, he said, but added that the neighboring houses were far enough away so as not to be in danger from the fire.

Goodwin is suspected of firing at police for reasons yet to be made clear. Authorities say no one was injured, including the shooter, but bullets did strike two Du Quoin police squad cars.

Other than the charges, which were posted on and confirmed by the state's attorney's office, very little information has been released detailing law enforcement's encounter with the suspect.

It is not known why the suspect was shooting -- whether police or others were his target -- and why either he set the house on fire himself or if it happened accidentally. Goodwin has not been charged with arson.

The Illinois State Police is leading the investigation, that includes the Du Quoin police and fire departments, the Perry County Sheriff's Office, and the Pinckneyville police.

Authorities said they are not looking for any other suspects.

None of the neighbors reached for comment said they knew the suspect well.

Diana Skidmore, who lives on that block, said her basset hound woke her up around 3 a.m., "growling like crazy," and then she heard gunshots from up the street "that went on for a while."

Then, Skidmore said, she started smelling smoke. "It smelled like an old house burning," she said.

Lonnie Gray, who lives on the east side of North Division, said he and his girlfriend were in the backyard when someone he thinks could have been from a bomb squad suggested they would be safer inside their house.

A spokesman at the Du Quoin Fire Department said firefighters are still at the scene, and added that Dowell firefighters assisted for a time by covering the Du Quoin station.

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