Police continue search for suspected shooter Pendleton
The search continues for Dracy “Clint” Pendleton. He’s charged with shooting Mahomet, Illinois, Police Officer Jeremy Scharlow on Saturday.
Police have since been combing large parts of the Shawnee National Forest searching for him after he was spotted in the Pope County area Monday.
Now, police say they’re asking for a peaceful end to their search.
The quiet roads inside Shawnee National Forest are bustling as police continue their hunt.
Bear Branch Campground co-owner Wayne Eichorn says the past few days have been chaotic as police comb the area for him.
"It’s scary. We haven’t really changed anything in the campground. We’ve got campers coming in Thursday, so it’s business as usual here. But, yeah, there’s always that hint of concern there," said Eichorn. He and his family own the campground in Pope County.
Police say they’re expanding their search for Pendleton beyond Pope County after he was spotted Tuesday in Hardin County near Rosiclare.
Illinois State Police said Pendleton knows how to survive in the wilderness and knows the area well. They say they haven’t yet found the white pickup truck they believe he stole after shooting officer Jeremy Scharlow on Saturday.
Commander of Illinois State Police Districts 13 and 22 Capt. William Sons says he and his crews have been searching day and night, despite the severe weather. And now, they have a message for him.
"The officer is going to be okay, and that there’s no need for further violence. So, if we could resolve this peacefully, that is our wish at this point," said Sons.
Eichorn says he feels safe knowing Pendleton will likely steer clear of him or his neighbors.
"It makes us feel better, because he’s not going to show up here. It would be too obvious to the police. He’s going to stay in the deep woods," Eichorn said.
But Eichorn’s hoping it doesn’t take too long before police catch his trail.
Pendleton was last seen wearing a black shirt, camouflage pants and black boots. They believe he has cut his hair, shaved his beard and may be walking with a limp from a previous knee injury. He may also have a gunshot wound on his neck. He is 35 years old, stands 5 feet, 10 inches and weighs roughly 155 pounds.
Pendleton may still be driving a stolen white 2007 GMC pickup truck with Illinois registration number 65533B. The number 30070 is painted on the side.
The FBI and the Champaign County Crimestoppers are offering rewards for information leading to Pendleton.
Police say he is armed and dangerous and to call 911 immediately if you see him.