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Black career criminal arrested for killing White man over $50 fee

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Hervey City, Illinois – A White tow-truck driver was shot and killed on Monday, in a gruesome scene that also injured an 18-year-old. For the crime, police arrested a Black career criminal who they assert opened fire over a $50 service fee.

According to reports, Macon County Sheriff deputies responded to a shooting at Five Star Auto Sales in Hervey City Monday afternoon. There they located three men suffering from gunshot wounds. Police identified one victim as White 48-year-old Gregory W. Hostetler. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

25-year-old Tiimon Xavier Perry (left) and 48-year-old Gregory W. Hostetler (right). Collage: Justice Report.

Police say they found the suspect, 25-year-old Tiimon Xavier Perry, and another 18-year-old victim, who were both taken to a nearby hospital and survived. Perry—who is Black—was said to have arrived at Five Star Auto Sales to recover his vehicle, which had been towed that morning over a flat tire.

After learning that he would have to pay a $50 towing fee, authorities state that a “verbal altercation” arose, which quickly escalated into a fight. According to Macon County Sheriff Jim Root, Perry then withdrew a handgun and shot Hostetler once in the head.

The 18-year-old attempted to wrestle the gun away from Perry, but was shot in the shoulder during the attempt. Despite this, the victim broke free and fired back, striking the Black man in the testicles and incapacitating him.

“They had a call to recover a vehicle that had a flat tire, again some sort of tire issue. They took it back to their shop,” said Sergeant Scott Flannery of the Macon County Sheriff’s office.

Five Star Auto Sales and Greg’s Towing in Hervey City. The late Gregory Hostetler was said to have owned and operated both businesses. Photo: Google Maps.

“The individual, Mr. Perry, came to retrieve the vehicle and ultimately refused to pay…There was a struggle a little bit over the keys. They weren’t going to give him the keys back until the fee was paid. That’s ultimately when it turned physical and the gun was involved,” he continued.

While Perry ultimately recovers from his injuries, police say he will be taken to the Macon County Jail. They estimate he could be released from the hospital within the week. The 18-year-old victim who had been shot in the shoulder was treated and released.

“We’re hoping that (Perry) is going to be released sometime (Tuesday) or potentially even (Thursday) morning,” said Sgt. Flannery in a statement. “There is a question about him going for arraignment or bond, so at some point, he’s going to have to be released, or paperwork will have to go forward for his bond hearing.”

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For his alleged role in the gunshot murder of a working-class White man, Perry has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated and unlawful use of a weapon, with additional charges likely to come. A prolific career criminal, reports state that he had previous warrants for vehicular invasion and aggravated fleeing and eluding law enforcement.

According to public records, Perry had been previously booked in 2019 by the Decatur Police Department for domestic battery, then again a few months later for armed robbery and contributing to the delinquency of a child. In 2022, he was booked for aggravated assault of a police officer and resisting arrest, and once more in 2023 for several other violent charges.

It is currently unknown why Perry had been allowed to roam the streets despite his lengthy rap sheet, but he may have benefitted from Illinois’ controversial pro-Black “SAFE-T” Act, which eliminates bail conditions for all but the worst offenders.

Public records indicate that Tiimon Perry has a lengthy history of run-ins with police, including domestic battery, assault, and discharge of a weapon. Photo: Macon County Inmate Query Website.

Meanwhile, a community is still reeling from the loss of Gregory Hostetler. At a vigil service Tuesday night, colleagues and family gathered to remember the victim, who was said to be a well-respected man in the tow-trucking community.

“We never received a complaint about him from the public or other towing companies, and from what we had heard, he was well respected within the community,” said Ed Forsythe, Executive Director of the Professional Towing and Recovery Operators of Illinois, in a statement. “This tragedy only goes to show the loss of respect of life that is becoming more pronounced in our society.” 

“It’s a brotherhood that nobody will get,” said James Gillenwater during a vigil for Hostetler. “It’s just like law enforcement, EMT, Fire Department. We have our brotherhood and it doesn’t matter if we have our good days or bad days, we’re still there for each other.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Hostetler’s family. At the time of press, it has already raised $23,930 of its $35,000 goal. A funeral is planned for Saturday, the 18th, and will include a procession of tow trucks in his honor.

Hervey City, a rural portion of the village of Mount Zion, lays smack-dab in the center of the state of Illinois. According to the latest US Census Report estimates for 2023, the area is supermajority White, clocking in at 93.4% White alone.

Photo: Greg Hostetler Memorial GoFundMe

When compared to other areas of the United States, Mt. Zion’s racial homogeneity has earned it a crime rate of 63% below the national average. According to the Mt. Zion Police Department’s official website, in 2015, it was officially named the 13th safest city in Illinois.

Mt. Zion’s racial homogeneity has earned it a crime rate 63% below the national average, and in 2015, it was named the 13th safest city in Illinois, according to the Mt. Zion Police Department’s official website.

Despite serving as a safe harbor for the White community, Black violence still found a way to reach out and claim the life of Gregory Hostetler.

The horrific incident would track alongside other cases of particularly violent crimes stemming from Black Americans in White areas. In April, a young White girl was filmed being brutally beaten by a gang of non-White teenagers, many of them celebrating the violence. The attack took place in the affluent, majority White Greenwich, Connecticut, shocking residents to their core.

In March, a White man was beaten to death in the 85.6% White Steven’s Point, Wisconsin. For the crime, police arrested a mixed-race gang of young men—including three Blacks—who allegedly killed him for interrupting a string of car thefts. The suspects could then be heard mocking the victim as they drove away, per a cell phone video.

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