Man dead after domestic incident in Channahon, police say

Multiple emergency agencies respond near Channahon State Park

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A man was shot and killed during a domestic incident Monday in Channahon, police said.

Channahon police responded shortly after 12:30 p.m. Monday to a home at the corner of South Fryer and Story streets for a report of a woman who had been pistol-whipped, said Channahon Deputy Police Chief Adam Bogart.

When officers arrived, they spotted James Darden, 73, in the back yard of the home with gunshot wounds to his torso. Darden was transported to Amita Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, where he was pronounced dead, according to Channahon police.

“This appears to be a domestic-related incident,” Bogart said.

The female victim, 53, had fled the scene with blunt force trauma to her head. She was also transported to St. Joseph, where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

A handgun was found at the scene, according to Channahon police.

The Channahon Police Department reported multiple agencies were responded to the incident and Bogart said the Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force had been activated. The home is near Channahon State Park.

Bogart said there was no threat to the public but police broadcast an alert for residents to avoid the area around Fryer and Story for the three hours after the initial call.

Officers have been called to the residence on previous occasions for domestic-related calls for service, according to police. There were no children at the home at the time of the incident.

Witnesses from both inside the home and neighboring residences have been interviewed and the investigation remains 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 had been a domestic disturbance at the home Sunday night involving a disagreement over possible abuse of a girl who lives at the home.

“It was a boyfriend, girlfriend [dispute] and they got into an altercation and shots were fired,” Clower said. “It was all over a misunderstanding.”

Heidi Daniels, who also lives in the block, said Darden and his girlfriend live at the Fryer Street home. Daniels said the couple’s 17-year-old daughter also lives there and Darden’s two brothers reside in the garage.

Darden and Terlep also have a 20-year-old son who lives in California, Clower said.

Daniels said the family was generally quiet and did not interact much with neighbors.

“They kept to themselves,” she said. “The only time you saw them was when they were on the back porch.”

Daniels added that Darden’s behavior had changed recently, after he was diagnosed with diabetes.

Another neighbor, Bob Olson, said he used to cut the couple’s grass and that they had lived in the home for about eight years.

Olson’s 15-year-old granddaughter, Gabby, said she no longer felt safe in her own neighborhood.

“I miss how it used to be. I used to be able to run the streets,” Gabby Olson said. “It’s just not home anymore because you have to be aware of your surroundings.”