Long John Silver's shooting (copy)

Decatur officers talk inside Long John Silver's, 701 W. Eldorado St., as they investigate the Jan. 4 shooting of Curtis Hairston, who now has been linked to a December homicide in Bloomington.

BLOOMINGTON — A Decatur man killed in a Jan. 4 shooting may have played a role in the December slaying of a man on Bloomington's west side.

Bloomington police detectives considered 18-year-old Curtis Hairston a potential suspect in the Dec. 5 shooting of Egerton Dover, BPD Sgt. Clayton Arnold told The Pantagraph on Thursday.

"We believe he had a role in the Dover case. The extent of his role has not been fully determined yet," said Arnold.

Hairston was found inside the Long John Silver's restaurant in Decatur with multiple gunshot wounds. Two men, including one who also was shot during the incident and a juvenile, have been charged with murder in Hairston's death in Macon County.

Decatur police Sgt. Chris Copeland said Thursday that "it's my understanding that Mr. Hairston may have had some involvement" in the Bloomington murder case, adding police don't believe a link exists between Dover's death and Hairston's murder.

Two suspects with ties to Bloomington were arrested Jan. 7 in Decatur on murder charges related to Dover's death. 

Anthony Grampsas, 18, and Tyjuan Bruce, 20, were arrested at the home of Grampsas' grandmother, Jane Irvin, on North Constant View Drive in Decatur.

Long John Silver's shooting

Decatur police investigate the interior of Long John Silver's, 701 W. Eldorado St., after a Jan. 4 shooting. Bloomington police consider the victim, Curtis Hairston,  a suspect in the December murder of Egerton Dover. 

Arnold confirmed that Bloomington police have seized Irvin's car, but declined to provide details as to what potential evidence police may have been sought in the car that remains in police custody.

Grampsas and Bruce are both charged with murder under legal accountability laws that allow a person to be held legally accountable if a person dies during the commission of a forcible felony.

In their case, the felony is the home invasion that allegedly occurred while the suspects "or one for whose conduct he was legally responsible, was armed with a firearm," according to charges.

The theory that Hairston may have been the armed suspect during the Bloomington break-in and murder has not been confirmed by police.

The role each suspect may have played "will become more clear as our interviews continue," said Arnold. 

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Arnold would not discuss what may have been taken from Dover's home, or whether the homicide involved drugs — both Grampsas and Bruce also are charged with robbery and residential burglary.

The robbery "is a critical part of the case," said Arnold.

Police have been able to substantiate "a very good sequence of events" that led to the criminal charges against Grampsas and Bruce, added Arnold. 

He said details of what happened before police were called to Dover's home in the 800 block of West Jefferson have the makings of "a compelling story and a compelling case."

Although Grampsas and Bruce have listed Decatur addresses, both men have roots in Bloomington.

Grampsas' attorney in the McLean County drug case, Hal Jennings, withdrew a request Wednesday to allow the defendant to move out of state. Grampsas' mother resides in Colorado.

Bruce pleaded guilty in 2017 to unlawful use of a weapon. Police arrested him after he fired a gun toward a car in north Normal.

Both men remain in McLean County jail in lieu of $500,035 bond. They are scheduled for arraignment Friday in McLean County Circuit Court.    

 Photos: 2018-19 McLean County jail mugshots

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Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny

McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.