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Press Release

St. Elmo Man Facing Multiple Charges After Shooting Rifle at Federal Agents

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A federal grand jury returned a 15-count indictment charging a St. Elmo man on several assault and firearms charges after he allegedly opened fire on federal law enforcement agents who attempted to serve an arrest warrant at his residence in Fayette County.

Dax Baldrige, 46, is facing seven counts of assault of a federal officer, seven counts of using a firearm in during and in relation to a crime of violence and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

“Fortunately, the law enforcement officers returned home safely to their families after the incident in Fayette County,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Attacks on those who protect us will not be tolerated.”

“As the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Illinois, I am thankful and relieved that none of our task force personnel were injured or worse during this incident,” said David Davis, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Illinois. “This incident highlights the danger our task force members and other law enforcement encounter on a daily basis.”

“This case serves as a grim reminder of the dangers that federal law enforcement officers face every day, while protecting our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge, Bernard Hansen, ATF, Kansas City Field Division. “As we did in this investigation ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to focus on those that use firearms to facilitate acts of violence in Illinois, and across the country.”

“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day and those who attack the people charged with protecting the public’s safety will be held accountable and brought to justice,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.

“Fayette County Sheriff’s Office would like to reiterate that we are extremely thankful that no law enforcement , local or federal officers were injured during this incident. We are also extremely proud of all the assisting agencies response to the incident that aided in a peaceful resolution and that no one was injured,” said Fayette County Sheriff Ronnie Stevens.

On Oct. 17, 2022, task force members with the U.S. Marshals attempted to serve an arrest warrant to Baldrige at his residence in Fayette County when he allegedly used a rifle to fire multiple shots at the officers. After a 10-hour stand-off with police, Baldrige was taken into custody without incident, and no injuries were reported.

An indictment is merely a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, the defendant is presumed to be innocent of the charges until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

If convicted, Baldrige could face more than 70 years in prison and fines up to $250,000. The U.S. Marshal Service Great Lakes Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Illinois State Police and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department are contributing to the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Arshi is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 28, 2023