Moneer Damra

Moneer Damra, 27, a nursing student from Chicago, was shot on a highway ramp in Glen Carbon and later died, in what police have called a "random act of violence." Jacob Godoy, 19, of St. Louis County, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 2022 in Damra's death. Prosecutors say Godoy shot Damra on Jan. 14, 2021, while Damra was a passenger in a car on the ramp from Route 157 to Interstate 270 in Glen Carbon. Police have not been able to identify a motive or any known connection between Godoy, who was 16 at the time and lived in Woodson Terrace, and Damra, a student at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville who planned to become an Army nurse. Godoy was arrested soon after the shooting after witnesses told police they spotted men fleeing from an abandoned vehicle near the crime scene into a nearby wooded area. Police searched the area and took four men into custody. Godoy and another man Jimmy Ortiz, who was 19 at the time and lived in Hazelwood, were both charged with first-degree murder in the case. The case against Ortiz remains pending. Godoy pleaded guilty in March 2022, but sentencing was delayed until December 2023 after a series of legal delays that included attempts to withdraw his plea and change attorneys. Damra's sister told the court on Wednesday that he overcame obstacles, including a period of homelessness in his youth. She forgave her brother’s killer in court Wednesday, according to the prosecutor's office. “In honor of the loving, joyful and brave life my brother cultivated, I hope you are afforded the opportunity to change your life and find a path of purpose,” she said in court. An Army lieutenant who studied nursing alongside Damra said at sentencing the killing “denied the United States Army of one of the best officers they would have ever had.” Madison County State's Attorney Tom Haine said in a statement Wednesday that Damra "made a selfless decision to help others and serve his country." He added he prays the sentence will "continue the healing process for his family and loved ones, as well as the SIUE community and the ROTC program."

Read full story


Jan. 14, 2021




27 years old




Route 157 and Interstate 270,
Glen Carbon,
Madison County