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Police: Channahon man arrested on battery charge the day before fatal shooting

Police and investigators secure the scene of a shooting Monday, June 17, 2019, at the 2500 block of Fryer Street  in Channahon, Ill.
Police and investigators secure the scene of a shooting Monday, June 17, 2019, at the 2500 block of Fryer Street in Channahon, Ill.

A man who was shot and killed during a domestic incident in Channahon Monday afternoon was arrested the day before on a battery charge.

James Darden, 73, was found by officers Monday in the backyard of his home, police said.

Darden had suffered fatal gunshot wounds to his torso before the officers arrived, police said.

The officer responded to his residence at the corner of South Fryer and Story streets for a report of a woman who had been pistol-whipped, police said.

The 53-year-old victim suffered blunt force trauma to her head and fled the scene, police said, and was hospitalized for injuries that were not life threatening.

Channahon Deputy Police Chief Adam Bogart said authorities were waiting on Darden’s autopsy results from the Will County Coroner’s Office to determine how he suffered the gunshot wound. He said the autopsy was performed Tuesday.

Bogart said Darden had been arrested Sunday on a charge of misdemeanor battery. Officers responded to Darden’s home about 2 p.m. after receiving a report of a domestic dispute, he said.

Bogart said the incident involved Darden, the 53-year-old woman and a juvenile. Bogart declined to provide details about the incident because he said the police still need to conduct a formal interview with the woman.

After he was arrested, Darden was taken to the police department for booking, Bogart said. He was released at his own recognizance about 3 p.m. Sunday.

Officers have been called to the residence on previous occasions on domestic-related calls for service, police said.

There were no children at the home at the time of the incident, Bogart said.

Witnesses from both inside the home and neighboring residences have been interviewed and the investigation is ongoing.

Brianna Clower, who lives near the home, said she went outside Monday afternoon when she heard a gunshot.

She saw her blood-soaked neighbor emerge from the house on Fryer Street, she said.

"She was all covered in blood," Clower said. "She said she was pistol-whipped."

Clower said she called 911 and then heard a second gunshot.

A short time later, she said, she heard a third shot. The wounded man then came out of the house, Clower said.

"I'm pretty sure he shot himself," Clower said.

Clower said there was a domestic disturbance at the home Sunday night involving a disagreement over possible abuse of a girl who lives there.

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