It happened 39 years ago --- in Ford County. A bloody gunfight at Paxton, on the I-57 overpass.
That overpass will soon be named the “McCarter-Caisse-Vice-Hale Memorial Overpass” --- to honor the law enforcement officers killed in a shootout during a traffic stop that went bad.
Senator Jason Barickman and Representative Tom Bennett sponsored legislation in the Senate and House, respectively, to pay respect to the lawmen who died in the line of duty.
This next week is National Law Enforcement to recognize police officers. An event kicked off the week (Friday) on the Courthouse lawn in Kankakee.
The infamous I-57 shootout at Paxton was on April 7, 1979. The Lampkin Brothers – from Michigan – opened fire on officers during a traffic stop.
The shootout took the lives of Illinois State Trooper Michael McCarter, Paxton Police Officer William Caisse, and a civilian Donald Vice (who was riding along with McCarter, his brother-in-law).
Paxton patrolman Larry Hale was also wounded.
Supporters of the legislation to honor those killed say the resolution is “long overdue.”