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Man is Shot, Killed & Robbed While Working at Bar

MATTOON--A bartender is gunned down while working at the Toaster's Bar in Mattoon, and police are still looking for one or more suspects.

Emergency crews responded to the 1400 block of Broadway Avenue around 7:40 Monday night.

This, after customers called police when they found the employee laying on the floor unresponsive.

Police are investigating this as both a homicide and robbery.

People who knew 33-year-old Benjamin Newton are saddened and shocked.

Most of his friends say he was the kind of guy who would help just about anyone.

Today's preliminary autopsy results show Newton died from a single gun shot wound to the head.

It was at close range, which means the shooter was just inches away.
"Based on the observations and the other officers on scene, it definitely looked like foul play," said Mattoon Police Chief Jeff Branson.

Newton was found dead, after being shot in the head while working at Toaster's Bar in Mattoon.

Police are still putting together the pieces of this homicide and robbery investigation, and continue to seek clues.

"There's a couple of people we have not identified yet. We've identified a lot, but there's a couple of individuals. They're not suspects, but they are people they would like to get statements from," added Branson.

Branson said, so far the investigation shows at the time of the shooting the only person inside toaster's was newton.
"It's just a couple of blocks away. It could happen to anyone of us here, I mean there are males and females that work here. It could happen to anybody and that's scary," said Mattoon resident Kyle Gipson.

Gipson works at a nearby coffee shop, and says he was shocked to learn that just around the corner...

Newton was robbed and gunned down, with an undisclosed amount of cash taken.

"It's a tragedy for the family. God Bless his heart for being taken out of this world for absolutely nothing. A senseless act of violence, and a man lost his life," added Gipson.

Mattoon Police still had no one in custody as of 9:30 pm Tuesday.

However, they did release a surveillance photo of a person of interest, and they need your help identifying this while male shown here is this picture.

He is wearing a distinctive coat, that appears to have some type of stripping.

Again, police are not naming him a suspect, just someone they would like to talk to, so they can have a better idea as to what exactly happened Monday night.

This isn't the first time Toaster's Bar is making headlines.

Just last month, they had their liquor license suspended for several days.

This  after a police investigation found that the bar served an 18-year-old, who died later that night from complications of alcohol and drugs.

If you have any information regarding Monday night's shooting, call Coles County Crime Stoppers at 1-866-345-8488, or the Mattoon Police Department at 217-235-5451.

ABC Newschannel 15's Marine Glisovic has the details.