Phillip Gehrken

ARGENTA, Ill. (WAND) - A man accused of shooting and killing another man in Argenta had shot the victim in the face during a dispute, deputies said. 

Authorities responded at 6:20 p.m. Sunday to 7414 Jordan Road in Argenta for a report of someone being shot. They arrived and found the suspect, 52-year-old Phillip Gehrken, on the scene with three other people, according to a sworn affidavit obtained by WAND News on Tuesday.

The victim, 51-year-old Kevin M. Cooper, was found lying on his back about 10 feet from the front side of an excavator. Authorities said they found multiple spent shell casings next to the victim, and a gun was recovered from the scene. 

Gehrken had claimed the shooting happened because Cooper, who came to the address of the shooting to return equipment, had tried to pull him off an excavator. 

Gehrken and Cooper had been involved in a feud related to finances for several weeks, authorities said.

Gehrken faces a Class X charge of murder in Macon County. His bail is set at $1.5 million. 

The suspect has a 1999 conviction on his record in Macon County and is not allowed to be in possession of a firearm, the affidavit said. 

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