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East Moline homicide 1

East Moline police investigate a shooting in the 200 block of 19th Street late Friday. Roman Knox, 23, of East Moline, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Robert E. Neal, Sr., 69, of East Moline. 

Police confirmed Monday that an East Moline man accused of fatally shooting 69-year-old Robert E. Neal Sr. on Friday night is his grandson, who lived with him. 

During a short news conference at East Moline City Hall, police revealed some new details in the case against Roman P. Knox, 23, who faces one count of first-degree murder.

At 9:31 p.m. Friday, police were called to the 200 block of 19th Street for a battery complaint.

Lt. Darren Gault said during Monday’s news conference that police initially were contacted by a passerby who said that there appeared to be two people fighting on the sidewalk and that one of them had a gun.

Police also received multiple 911 calls from other witnesses who said they either heard or saw something, Gault said.

Police found Neal, who appeared to have a single gunshot wound to the chest, lying on the grass and began administering aid until EMS took over.

He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. 

Police from East Moline, Silvis, Moline and the Illinois State Police set up a perimeter to try and locate the shooter, Gault said.

Witnesses directed police to the north where they said they saw the suspect running. 

Knox, who was armed with a “long” gun and had blood on him, emerged from a home in the 100 block of 21st Street, surrendered "quite quickly" and was taken into custody without incident, Gault said.

Gault said the home is the one he shared with his grandfather. 

He added that the statements from witnesses were “absolutely vital” to the quick arrest of Knox.

Knox remained in the Rock Island County Jail on Monday on a $5 million bond and will be back in court Nov. 28 for a preliminary hearing.

Police have said that the shooting stemmed from an earlier argument. Gault confirmed Monday that Knox is Neal’s grandson.

Gault said police are still trying to piece together a timeline of the shooting and declined to say what the two argued about. He did say that there was a history of domestic problems at the residence they shared. 

Court records show that Knox has misdemeanor convictions for battery in Rock Island County and domestic battery in Mercer County in 2015.

Gault said detectives are continuing to investigate the case. He encouraged anyone who may have heard or seen anything, spoke to Knox prior to the shooting, or who may have home or business surveillance video in the area to call 309-752-1545 or Crime Stoppers of the Quad-Cities at 309-762-9500.

This is the first homicide reported in East Moline in 2017. The last homicide, Gault said, was the 2010 shooting death of Steven J. Clemons, 28.

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