BAD: Woman gunned down on Ill. highway as drivers watch

This is a discussion on BAD: Woman gunned down on Ill. highway as drivers watch within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Would love to know how some of you folks would have reacted if you where present and she was banging on your vehicles window. It ...

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Thread: BAD: Woman gunned down on Ill. highway as drivers watch

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array WhoWeBePart1's Avatar
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    Post BAD: Woman gunned down on Ill. highway as drivers watch

    Would love to know how some of you folks would have reacted if you where present and she was banging on your vehicles window.

    It seemed to happen quickly so would anyone been able to assist even if armed is the big question. Thoughts and input are welcomed.


    Woman gunned down on Ill. highway as drivers watch - Yahoo! News

    Dozens of drivers crawling along in Sunday traffic on a busy St. Louis-area highway watched in horror as a woman, bleeding from a gunshot wound, leapt from a car and across several lanes of traffic, banging on vehicle windows and begging for help before her boyfriend chased her down and shot her in the head, then killed himself, authorities said.

    The violence unfolded Sunday afternoon in the most public of places, but authorities had little more to go on than terrified drivers' accounts in trying to figure out why it happened. It happened so quickly that most had no time to help.

    Tommie Hill, who lived in East St. Louis, Ill., killed Ashley Oliver, from nearby Cahokia, Ill., within sight of Hill's 7-year-old daughter, who was sitting about 50 feet away in the car.

    "I don't know what started this," Sgt. Dave Wasmuth said. "And we may never know."

    Police started receiving 911 calls about 2 p.m., Wasmuth said. Some callers said there'd been what they thought might be a traffic accident, while others were clear about what they'd seen: a shooting, right there on Interstate 64 just west of the Mississippi River and St. Louis' Gateway Arch.

    Oliver, according to the account police pulled together from witnesses, jumped out of the car, probably with it still moving, and started running to other vehicles heading slowly north on the freeway. The 25-year-old was shot at least once either just before or after she got out of the car, Wasmuth said.

    An autopsy found Oliver was shot three times in all, once in her right shoulder, once in the right side of the neck, and finally on the right side of her head, St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone said. It wasn't clear just when the first two shots were fired.

    Oliver begged for help from people inside other vehicles, banging on their windows as Hill, also 25, quickly closed in, Wasmuth said.

    At least one driver to started to roll down his window, "until we saw that gun," Scott Cross, 38, of East St. Louis told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    Hill pulled the semiautomatic handgun from his pants and shot Oliver one last time, Wasmuth and witnesses said. Then he put the gun to the right side of his own head and fired. He died there on the pavement, Stone said.

    Oliver was taken to a hospital in East St. Louis, where she died at 3:48 p.m. Sunday, the coroner said.

    The chase was brief, and the shooting happened quickly, too quickly to give anyone on the freeway a realistic chance to help, Wasmuth said. "There was no time for anybody to intervene."

    Hill's body lay in the middle eastbound lane of the highway for a while as traffic crawled by in the passing lane. Police later shut down a section of the highway for about three hours.

    Wasmuth said Monday that he'd turned up no orders of protection or other signs that Hill and Oliver were headed toward the kind of tragedy that played out Sunday afternoon.

    The only witness to what happened in the car appears to be Hill's daughter, who wasn't hurt and is now with her mother. Given her age and what she saw, Wasmuth said police are taking their time interviewing her and don't expect to learn much.

    "I don't even think the girl in the car knows what it was, what set it off," he said.

    Hill's uncle, Tyrone Cameron, said he spoke to Hill about an hour before the shootings and heard nothing that concerned him.

    The couple, Cameron told the Post-Dispatch, "had their ups and downs, but I never thought it would come to this."

    Wasmuth, who is based in nearby Collinsville, said he didn't know Hill, but some other officers who work in the area said they were familiar with him.

    Hill had a long criminal record, including a conviction for cocaine possession and delivery in 2004 that led him to spend almost three years behind bars, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections. St. Clair County court records show he was due in court in next month after being charged with possession of marijuana and again in September over a pair of criminal trespass on state property charges.

    The gun Hill used Sunday, Wasmuth said, was reported stolen several years ago in Mississippi.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    I would like to think I would have at least tried!
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    She couldn't run fast enough, no one would help her, and she was unarmed. Change any one of those three, and she might have lived.

    right there on Interstate 64 just west of the Mississippi River and St. Louis' Gateway Arch.
    Not that it matters, but a local paper puts the incident just EAST of the Mississippi River, and therefore in East St. Louis, Illinois, rather than west of the river in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Quarrel leads to two shooting deaths on I-64 - STLtoday.com
    By Joel Currier
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    06/21/2010

    EAST ST. LOUIS As blood ran down her arm, Ashley Oliver ran for her life.

    The Cahokia woman, 25, staggered through stalled traffic about 2 p.m. Sunday on Interstate 64 just east of the Poplar Street Bridge.

    Ashley Oliver

    "She was running to cars saying 'Please help me! Please help me!" said Scott Cross, 38, of East St. Louis. "We were going to help until we saw that gun."

    Cross said he watched as a gunman caught up with and fatally shot Oliver in the middle lane of the highway and then killed himself.

    "We didn't know what to do," said Haaneyfan MacDonald, 45, a passenger in Cross' minivan. "I couldn't believe it."

    Police identified the gunman as Oliver's boyfriend, Tommie Hill, 25, of East St. Louis. He had been fighting with her in her red Oldsmobile Alero.

    Oliver had already been shot inside the Alero or near it when she fled and began banging on nearby cars for help.

    "She was running for her life," said Illinois State Police Sgt. Dave Wasmuth. "He chased her down and killed her."

    Oliver was pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital in Belleville. Police said Hill's 7-year-old daughter was in the Alero and witnessed the shooting but was not hurt. Wasmuth said later that the girl was in her mother's care.

    For a while, as traffic crawled by in the passing lane, Hill's body lay in the middle eastbound lane of the highway. Police later shut down a section of I-64, where it converges with Interstate 70 and Interstate 55, for about three hours.

    The semiautomatic handgun used by Hill was seized by police.


    Hill's mother, Sharon Cameron, came to the scene Sunday. She said the couple had had a rocky relationship for at least four years. She said her son was unemployed and had been depressed recently.

    "There's just too much killing going on," said Cameron, 41, of East St. Louis. "People are killing each other and don't have no reason."

    Hill's uncle, Tyrone Cameron, said he had spoken to his nephew about an hour before the shooting and they had wished each other a Happy Father's Day.

    Tyrone Cameron said Hill and Oliver "had their ups and downs, but I never thought it would come to this."

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    Sounds like it happened so fast. I don't know if someone coming upon the scene could process what was going on quickly enough to react.

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    Thanks for the extra post Grady. I'm so glad I no longer live in IL. One year was enough for me.

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    If you were armed and helped you would be going to jail in IL.

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    That poor girl..
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    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastk9dad View Post
    Sounds like it happened so fast. I don't know if someone coming upon the scene could process what was going on quickly enough to react.
    +1 and sounds like it would have probably been one of those deals where you're not sure what's going on for even minutes after it happened if you didn't see it from the start. A lot in the question here depends on where you were at physically during the incident. Sad either way but I believe that I would have probably at least drawn to cover myself and mine after hearing gunshots.
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    Honestly, in Florida, I would have done all I could... But, I live in Florida, where I still have my rights! Illinois is a horse of a different color, barely a horse at all, really... a shame indeed, as I imagined had there been even one person in the procession who was legally armed and able to defend themselves, they would have helped.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprp View Post
    +1 and sounds like it would have probably been one of those deals where you're not sure what's going on for even minutes after it happened if you didn't see it from the start. A lot in the question here depends on where you were at physically during the incident. Sad either way but I believe that I would have probably at least drawn to cover myself and mine after hearing gunshots.

    Plus I was thinking even if you could draw with all the other cars around you risk hitting another bystander. You'd probably be better served ramming the guy with your car.

    But like you said if you heard gunshots I'd be more worried about me and my passengers looking to take cover and defend.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    I don't see what any one person could do.
    She was dead on her feet as it was with the gun shot to the neck.

    I'd bet a box of ammo that this was not an isolated incident, and that either he is on record for domestic violence or was known among her family & friends to be one of those type guys.

    People don't just go friggen crazy to that degree with no build up prior.

    Terrible though. I would not want to see this unfold in front of me, or my family and kids.

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    The chase was brief, and the shooting happened quickly, too quickly to give anyone on the freeway a realistic chance to help, Wasmuth said. "There was no time for anybody to intervene."
    Sometimes life happens in the blink of an eye.

    First of all, it was Illinois, so having a gun to intervene with is pretty much out of the question.

    Secondly, and realistically, in the time it took to play out, I seriously doubt anyone could honestly say they had enough time to realistically evaluate what was actually going on to stop it. I know I probably couldn't have.

    Thirdly, and this is important, at least to me... without having a gun to at least defend myself... as it happened in Illinois, any intervention on my part (in this unique incident) would have likely gotten myself shot and killed by the crazed gunman.
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    Distinguished Member Array tcox4freedom's Avatar
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    I really don't think I could have done anything. As a law abiding CC'er, my gun would have either been locked away in my trunk; or left at home.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    While I would have been armed, from the sound of it there would have been neither time nor a shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmc0106 View Post
    If you were armed and helped you would be going to jail in IL.
    probably...and it sounds like ti was over before people knew what was going on...
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