Off-duty Madison police officer charged with shooting three people in downtown Belleville

Teri Maddox/

An off-duty Madison police officer has been charged with three counts of aggravated battery through discharge of a firearm in connection with a shooting in downtown Belleville early Sunday morning.

Khalind D. Hayes, 27, of Fairview Heights, is accused of shooting three people, according to criminal complaints filed late Monday by the St. Clair County state’s attorney’s office.

Madison Police Chief Jeff Bridick confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Hayes has been a full-time police officer for his department about 18 months.

“I was made aware of the incident by the Belleville Police Department shortly after its occurrence,” Bridick said. “And immediately upon learning that, (Hayes) was placed on administrative leave without pay.”

That leave will continue for the duration of criminal proceedings, Bridick said.

Belleville police released a statement Tuesday afternoon stating that officers responded to a report at 1:56 a.m. Sunday that someone had been shot in the first block of North Charles Street.

“While officers were in route, one of the officers was flagged down by a driver of a red sedan coming towards him,” the statement read. “Two of the three occupants of the vehicle were identified as victims of the shooting.

“An adult male victim was located when officers arrived at the scene of the shooting. The suspect called wanting to turn himself into police custody a short time after the initial call to police dispatch. He was taken into custody at police headquarters without incident.

“During the preliminary investigation, witnesses and victims stated a verbal dispute occurred between the suspect and the male victim earlier in the night at a local business. The business closed early due to an unrelated incident.

“The suspect remained in the vicinity of the 1st block of North Charles with two friends and the three females. The male victim and two of his friends confronted the suspect. A verbal dispute turned into a physical fight between the two male groups. The fight ended.

“The suspect displayed a handgun and fired shots at the other group. The male victim was struck in the buttocks, one female victim suffered a graze-type wound to her abdomen, and the second female suffered a graze-type wound to her leg.”

Belleville police detectives and crime scene unit personnel responded to investigate, and the victims were transported to local hospitals. They were treated for their injuries and later released.

Scott Schmelzel, owner of Big Daddy’s 618 on East Main Street, and two of his managers heard seven gunshots and the squealing of vehicle tires about an hour after the bar closed at 1 a.m. Sunday, he said Tuesday.

One of the managers called police before the three walked down to North Church Street, where the gunshots seemed to originate. By that time, businesses were closed and streets were quiet.

“You could see shell casings in the street, and there was a cellphone that had been damaged,” Schmelzel said. “So we knew something had happened down there.”

Police often deploy foot patrols in the downtown business district at night, and they help clear streets after bars and restaurants close, so problems are rare, according to Schmelzel.

“The Belleville Police Department does an outstanding job keeping it safe,” he said.

Hayes allegedly shot Morgan King in the leg, Bailey Seymore in the stomach and Stephen Evans in the buttocks with a 9-millimeter pistol, according to the criminal complaint.

Aggravated battery through discharge of a firearm is a Class X felony.

A judge set bond for Hayes at $250,000, according to Chris Allen, spokesman for the St. Clair County state’s attorney’s office.

“Hayes was in custody at the time of charging, but has since posted bond and been released from the St. Clair County Jail,” Allen stated. “Hayes is currently set for preliminary hearing on the charges this Friday at 1 p.m.”