EDWARDSVILLE -- Illinois State Police say a Madison County man was armed when he was shot to death by a sheriff's deputy investigating a neighbor's report of a disturbance.
Investigators say 51-year-old Barry Cloninger died at the scene of the shooting near his rural Edwardsville home.
The (Alton) Telegraph reports that Cloninger's neighbors called authorities to report the odor of lighter fluid in their home and snowy footprints on their roof, which is easily accessible because the home is built into a hillside.
The residents have a wood-burning stove and suspected someone poured the flammable liquid down their chimney.
State police say deputies investigating the situation went to question Cloninger late Friday. Authorities say that's when Cloninger confronted them with a firearm and refused demands that he drop the weapon.