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CARBONDALE — A lot of questions remain, but officials say progress is being made in the investigation into last week’s shooting near Town Square.

Carbondale Police Chief Jeff Grubbs said the primary focus is finding the suspect.

“We are certainly focusing in on our search for Mr. (Jody Pullen Jr.) and would certainly encourage him to turn himself in,” he said.

Grubbs told The Southern they are not in a place to publicly identify suspects other than Pullen, he wouldn't rule it out either. 

"While we are not in a position to publicly identify anyone other than Pullen at this point in the investigation we continue to seek information regarding potential criminal actions of those who were involved in this incident which may lead to charges against them," he told The Southern through a text message Friday.

Police responded April 12 to reports of a shooting in the alley between Tres Hombres and ABC Liquor in Carbondale. Grubbs said the shooting was the result of a dispute among several acquaintances. Two of the people who were injured were involved in the dispute, and two of the injured were bystanders, Grubbs said.

One of those injured was John Diamond. He was sitting on the patio at Tres Hombres when shots were fired.

He remembers the moment clearly.

“Popping started and someone yells, ‘firecrackers’ and I yelled, ‘no it’s not, everyone down,’” he said. He said the person, or persons, who did the shooting came out of ABC Liquor — he never heard an argument. Diamond said he heard later that the argument started in the liquor store.

Diamond was sent to the hospital, but has a sense of humor about his injuries, which he characterized this way.

“I got shot in the butt, the right butt.” he said.

Police have not identified victims by name, however Friday, Grubbs did say that all “are on the road to recovery.” Authorities had initially said one victim was treated for life-threatening injuries.

Grubbs said cooperation among the victims and witnesses has been mixed.

“There has been varying levels of cooperation as it relates to the individuals who were involved or at the scene,” he said, adding that this can make investigating difficult.

Pullen’s brother, Jarrell Pullen, who was charged with first-degree murder in the 2017 shooting death of JaVon Trott, fled to Arkansas before being apprehended.

When asked about whether it is a possibility Jody Pullen also fled to Arkansas, Grubbs said he couldn’t speak on specifics.

“We have certainly a number of leads on the location of Mr. (Jody) Pullen and certainly some of those are out-of-state locations,” Grubbs said.

A closer look at Jody Pullen’s criminal record shows a string of felonies including battery and weapons charges. Two of these were dismissed after the state filed a motion for Nolle Prosequi, which is a formal notice of abandonment by a plaintiff. This dismisses the cases but allows it to be brought back up at a later date.

This was used for 2017 charges of domestic battery and possession of a weapon by a felon. Court records do not provide clarity on why the charges were dropped. When asked for details Thursday, State’s Attorney Mike Carr declined to comment because of pending litigation against Pullen for a 2019 battery charge. The Southern again attempted to contact Carr about whether these charges would be brought back because of recent criminal acts or if they were dropped because of witness or victim cooperation issues. However, Carr did not respond to requests for comment.

—Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect additional comments by Chief Grubbs

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isaac.smith@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

On Twitter: @ismithreports

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