Man sought for shooting of ‘innocent bystander’ in May believed to have fled city

Victor-Weems-1

Victor Weems | Photo courtesy of Quincy Police Department

QUINCY — Adam Yates, chief of the Quincy Police Department, says the man sought for the shooting death of a Quincy woman has fled the city.

Dana Lawton, 47, was shot on the night of May 25 while sitting on a porch in the 1100 block of Jefferson. She was taken to Blessing Hospital and later transferred to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, where she died.

“All death is tragic, but to lose one of our residents to senseless gun violence is extremely troubling,” Yates said in a press release. “Our thoughts are with Ms. Lawton’s friends and family during this terribly difficult time.”

The Quincy Police Department’s patrol division, along with our partners at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the shooting. The QPD Investigations Unit was called in and took over the investigation.

“Evidence was gathered, and witnesses were interviewed,” Yates said. “Information gathered seems to indicate that Ms. Lawton was not specifically targeted but was instead an innocent bystander who was struck by gunfire that originated from a separate incident.”

An arrest warrant was issued May 25 for Victor A. Weems III, 19, for aggravated discharge of a firearm. The charges were upgraded on May 30 to include first-degree murder, with a bond set at $5 million.

However, Weems remains at large. He has a number of additional warrants out for his arrest for violent felony crimes — home invasion, aggravated battery, endangering the welfare of a child, possession of a stolen vehicle and obstructing identification.

“This investigation is ongoing, and detectives continue to follow-up on all leads they receive,” Yates said. “We have reason to believe Mr. Weems has fled Quincy and are working with the United States Marshals Service to locate and apprehend Victor Weems and bring him back to Adams County.”

Weems should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information of his whereabouts should contact their local law enforcement agency, the United States Marshals Service, Crimestoppers or the Quincy Police Department.

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