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I-255 shut down

A view of Interstate 255 from the Forest Boulevard overpass, while police still had the highway shut down as they searched for a man who fired shots at them. Photo by Jack Suntrup, jsuntrup@post-dispatch.com

BELLEVILLE — A Centreville man was charged on Tuesday with killing a woman and shooting at a police officer in an incident that closed Interstate 255 near Collinsville for hours on Sunday.

The St. Clair County State's Attorney charged Timothy B. Stokes, 51, with first degree murder, felon in possession of a weapon, and aggravated discharge of a firearm at a peace officer. 

Stokes shot and killed Michelle Williams, 24, of East St. Louis on Sunday, authorities said. Williams was found with multiple gunshot wounds in front of a gas station near West 83rd and South State streets, where she was pronounced dead about just before 6 a.m.

Soon after, Stokes, who was walking on I-255, fired a 9mm Hi-Point C9 pistol at Illinois State Trooper Derek Cullen while Cullen was on duty in his patrol vehicle, according to charging documents.

Police closed both lanes of I-255 north of Interstate 64 for hours as they searched for the man, who was arrested just before 11 a.m. less than a mile away.

Stokes was convicted in 1993 of armed robbery in Peoria County and in 1996 in St. Clair County of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.  

Bond was set at $1 million. Stokes is in custody at the St. Clair County jail.