Jacksonville Man Arrested After Shots Fired Outside of Downtown Tavern

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 2, 2024 at 6:14am

Police are investigating after gunshots were fired outside of a downtown Jacksonville bar overnight.

According to a press release by the Jacksonville Police Department early this morning, officers responded to the 200 block of West Morgan Street at approximately 12:20 am for a report of shots fired in front of the West Morgan Depot tavern.

Police canvassed the area and reportedly took a suspect into custody not far from the scene. Officers were also able to locate and recover the suspected firearm along with additional evidence according to the report.

38-year-old Benjamin L. Clinton of the 600 block of East Independence Avenue was arrested and booked into the Morgan County Jail at approximately 3:45 this morning on initial charges of reckless discharge of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon, and possession of a firearm without a valid FOID card.

After further investigation, Clinton is also being charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm. During the course of the investigation, officers determined no one was injured in the incident.

Jacksonville Police officials say this was an isolated incident and unrelated to an incident last Sunday when officers reported hearing a single gunshot near the West Morgan Depot at approximately 1:30 am and responded to a municipal parking lot where a crowd had begun to gather.

No injuries were reported in that incident, and both shots fired incidents remain under investigation according to police.

Officials say anyone with any information on either of these incidents is urged to contact the Jacksonville Police Department by calling 217-479-4630, or by submitting an anonymous tip with Morgan, Scott, Cass Crime Stoppers by calling 217-243-7300, or on the web at morganscottcrimestoppers.com.