Gunman evades police, causes manhunt

Beth Welbers
Jeffery Ryan Blunk

Early the morning of September 22, at approximately 4:22 AM, The Geneseo Police Department was notified that Henry County Sheriff's deputies were having issues with an attempted traffic stop in the Village of Atkinson. Jeffery Ryan Blunk, 30, of Geneseo was requested to stop by Sheriff's deputies, and instead, fired a shot from a shotgun at them, and fled on foot. The deputies did not return fire.

Geneseo Police began assisting in the search for Blunk. At some point subsequent, Blunk was reported to be in Geneseo. Officers were enlisted to assist with the search from various agencies, including, the US Marshall's Service, Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois State Police, Henry County Sheriff's Department and the Geneseo Police Department.

Blunk was again spotted around 9:54 AM, still armed with the shotgun, in the area of US Rt 6 and Dilenbeck Drive in Geneseo. Reportedly he was in the area of the Geneseo carwash. Officers took cover and began negotiations with Blunk.

After about 90 minutes, the situation deteriorated, resulting in an officer involved shooting. The officer is a member of the United States Marshal's Task Force.

Mr. Blunk was wanted for the following crimes, as a direct result of the day's acts: aggravated discharge of a firearm, attempted murder of a police officer, home invasion, and aggravated kidnapping. Reportedly a hostage was taken sometime between the initial and second sighting of Blunk.

According to Geneseo's Deputy Chief Gene Karzan, Blunk was well known to local law enforcement, having had run ins with the law in the past, and had several outstanding felony warrants.

The incident is being investigated by the Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigations. Additional information will be released by Illinois State Police.

Multiple law enforcement agencies are seen as negotiators try to apprehend Jeffery Blunk.   Photo by Claudia Loucks