Accused cop shooter appears in court

Brown County Suspect
Brown County Suspect(WGEM)
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 12:38 PM CDT
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Editors Note: On April 11, The Chapin Police Department named Chief of Police Steven Helmich as the victim in the March 26 shooting. According to the department, Helmich sustained two gunshot wounds and was flown to a regional Level I trauma hospital in critical condition.

MOUNT STERLING, Ill. (WGEM) - A man accused of shooting a Chapin, Illinois, police officer in Brown County Saturday made his first court appearance Monday.

Daniel B. Payne, 29, of Greenbrier, Tennessee, appeared in front of Judge Jerry Hooker in Brown County Circuit Court.

Quincy attorney Dennis Woodworth was assigned to be his public defender.

Charges of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer are pending against Payne.

Brown County State’s Attorney Mike Hill said he and the rest of the court are taken aback by the whole situation and will just have to see how it unfolds.

“I don’t know what was going through the young man’s head,” Hill said. “It’s unfortunate that people feel that its an option to produce a fire arm and shoot a law enforcement officer.”

Bond was set at $1,000,000 with 10% to apply.

Payne’s next court date is set for April 6, however Woodworth said they will try to move it to an earlier date.

RELATED: Police officer shot in rural Brown County after pursuit

Investigators with the Illinois State Police said a Meredosia police officer attempted to stop Payne in a vehicle, but Payne fled, and police began a pursuit.

According to ISP, the pursuit led officers from multiple law enforcement agencies through Pike and Brown Counties. Payne’s vehicle crashed and became disabled.

ISP reported as officers approached Payne’s vehicle, he allegedly fired and struck a 39-year-old Chapin officer. Police said Payne surrendered after officers fired back.

According to Hill, the officer is still in the hospital. Hill said he is unsure of his condition.

Brown County resident Charlotte Atster lives down the road from where the alleged incident occurred. She said she had heard the gunshot.

“I pray for the officer,” Atster said. “I don’t know how bad he’s hurt. But, if he’s in the hospital, it has to be bad.”

The officer’s name has not yet been released.

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