Carbondale man sought in connection to Thursday shooting

Carbondale man sought in connection to Thursday shooting

By Luke Nozicka, @lukenozicka

Police are searching for a local man they say shot an acquaintance on Thursday morning in Carbondale. 

Reginald L. Cavitt, 35, of Carbondale, shot Derrius Bates, of Carbondale, just before 5:18 a.m. in the 900 block of West Sycamore Street after the two got into an altercation with each other, according to a Carbondale police news release. The men are acquaintances, police say. 

Carbondale police have issued an arrest warrant for Cavitt on five counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. Police said his location is unknown at this time and he should be considered armed and dangerous.


Officers responded to a call of shots fired that morning to find Bates with a gunshot wound. Police had said his injuries were serious, but he is now stable and recovering. 

The shooting on Thursday brings the number of gunshot victims in Carbondale this year to nine, according to news reports and police data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Since 2006, the most gunshot victims in one year was 10 in 2010.

In January 2003, Cavitt negotiated a guilty plea to charges for his involvement in the Sept. 28, 2002 shooting death of 24-year-old Rodney E. Jones, who died from a gunshot wound to the chest at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, the Daily Egyptian reported at the time. 

Cavitt was accused of providing the gun that shot Jones during an argument. He was sentenced to two years probation and 90 days in jail with credit for time served.

The 24-year-old victim and Mark S. Crymes, also 24, got into a verbal altercation at a Carbondale club, according to police reports.

Crymes and Cavitt went to visit a friend at an apartment complex in the 500 block of South Lake Heights, where Jones and about eight other men confronted Crymes. Police say when the group began beating Crymes, Cavitt approached the mob with a handgun as a scare tactic. Crymes then took the gun from Cavitt and fired several shots in the direction of his attackers, killing Jones.

Cavitt was originally charged with first-degree murder for his involvement in Jones’ death, but charges were later reduced, the Daily Egyptian reported. 


In a separate 2003 incident, Cavitt pleaded guilty to unlawful possession and use of a firearm by a felon, possession of a controlled substance and resisting a peace officer.

He was arrested after officers responded to a call of people smoking marijuana at a home he was at. After officers stopped Cavitt and another man as they were leaving the residence, Cavitt ran and was tackled by a Carbondale police officer.

Police found him with “a crack cocaine rock,” the Daily Egyptian reported at the time, and a .45 caliber handgun stolen during a previous burglary in Du Quoin.

Cavitt also has a previous conviction of robbery in 1998.
Anyone with information on Cavitt’s location is being asked by police to call 618-457-3200. 
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Luke Nozicka can be reached at [email protected]