The Knox County Sheriff’s Department has released the name of the 34-year-old Knox County Deputy killed Friday in the line of duty.

Nicholas D. Weist began his career with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office on May 22, 2018, as a road deputy, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Deputy Weist’s family,” the release says.

The Galesburg City Hall has been designated as the collection point for anyone who wants to support the Knox County Sheriff’s Office with food, flowers, or gifts.

The incident

The Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Zone 2 was asked to investigate an officer-involved death of a Knox County Sheriff’s Office Deputy. On Friday evening, Illinois State Police sent an update about the incident in a news release.

On April 29, about 8 a.m., Galesburg Police Department Officers responded to a 911 call of a suspect with a gun at the Circle K Gas Station on Main Street in Galesburg. Two Galesburg Officers located the suspect vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop, the release says. 

The suspect, identified as Daylon K. Richardson, 22, Granite City, Ill., continued to drive and fled north on U.S. Highway 150.

A Knox County Deputy began setting up spike strips at the intersection of U.S. Highway 150 at 150 Avenue in Henry County, Illinois, when he was struck by the suspect vehicle, which crashed in a field north of the intersection. 

Galesburg Officers apprehended Richardson after a brief foot pursuit, the release says. 

The suspect

The Henry County State’s Attorney approved these charges: two counts of murder (Class M Felony), unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon (Class 2 Felony), and aggravated fleeing and eluding (Class 4 Felony). Richardson is being held at the Henry County Jail without bond.

Daylon K. Richardson (photo: Illinois State Police)

Richardson is set for a preliminary hearing May 9 in Henry County Court. According to court records, he will be held without bond until then.

In Illinois, a murder charge can mean a life sentence or a sentence of not less than 20 years and not more than 60 years in prison.

A criminal history

Ron DeBrock, managing editor of The Telegraph, told Local 4 News on Saturday that he recognized Richardson’s name.

On Friday, ISP Capt. Christopher Endress said Richardson had active warrants for unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, aggravated fleeing and eluding, crimes against persons and mob action “out of southern Illinois,” The Telegraph said.

According to The Telegraph, in March Richardson was charged in Madison County with unlawful possession of weapons by a felon, a Class 2 felony, and aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, a Class 4 felony.

On March 9 he allegedly was found by Granite City Police to have a .223 caliber rifle and driving a Jaguar X. According to court documents, he tried to flee a Granite City Police officer, reaching speeds in excess of 21 miles above the posted speed limit. His bail was set at $80,000, the Telegraph said.

Richardson has a 2017 conviction for vehicular hijacking out of St. Clair County, making it illegal for him to possess weapons.