Beloit police make arrest in March 2021 homicide, crediting community tips

BELOIT, Wis. — Beloit police say they have arrested someone suspected of a deadly shooting in March of last year, adding they believe more arrests could be made soon.

Police have been investigating the death of 33-year-old Jordan Jefferson since March 30, 2021, when he was shot on the 1300 block of West Grand Avenue. The shooting happened at about 11:37 p.m., with police reporting at the time that Jefferson was shot while he was outside. They believe the shooting was a targeted incident.

On Monday, Beloit Police Chief Andre Sayles announced his department, along with help from Madison police, arrested Daemon M. Hanna last Thursday. He has since been charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Rock County court Monday, witnesses reported seeing Jefferson at the bottom of stairs in front of a home at the time of the shooting, and a dark SUV slowly driving past. The SUV sped away after a witness yelled that someone had been shot.

It was a night still seared into Stacey Nielsen’s memory. She said Jefferson ran to her house and despite her best CPR efforts, he spent his last minutes on her porch.  

“My family had actually to go to counseling because it was bad — there was like blood all over my house, on the side, and then all over our cars where his handprints were and stuff like that. So it was really traumatic,” she told News 3 Now Monday. 

“When I met his mother and them at the funeral I just felt so terrible because I couldn’t do anything more you know?” she said.

Witnesses also told police that they had heard arguing in the street before the gunshot was heard.

Daemon Hanna Mugshot

Courtesy: Beloit Police Department

Another witness in the case told investigators they were drinking with Jefferson throughout the day on March 30 before going to a bar in Janesville. The witness said they left the bar at 7 or 8 p.m. that night before driving around and picking up two other people, including Hanna. The group of four went back to the witness’s house, but Jefferson reportedly left the home, despite Hanna and another person “counting on” him for a ride, according to the complaint. Hanna and the other person eventually called someone else for a ride.

Investigators were eventually contacted by a person who said they had dated Hanna for a few months in the fall of 2021, who said Hanna had driven them past a roadside memorial where Jefferson had been killed and said he was responsible for someone being killed there.

Another witness told police Hanna visited the night of the murder and said he had just “popped somebody” and asked her to hide his gun while he washed himself with bleach. Hanna reportedly left the area after that, going to a house across the state line in Rockford, asking others about what they had heard on the police scanner. Once the scene was cleared, Hanna went to South Beloit, where he had the witness take a photo of him acting like he was sleeping so he could claim he was asleep at the time of the murder.

The shooting was one of four homicides in Beloit in 2021.

Speaking Monday, Chief Sayles said he credited the community’s willingness to provide information in the investigation over the past year, leading to the arrest.

“I was just so elated to have that community collaboration and understand that we’ve solved an unsolved homicide and a family can rest at peace a little bit now knowing that a person that took a loved one away from them is behind bars,” Chief Sayles said.

“I think our community is seeing a lot of people losing their lives for senseless acts of violence, and I think they’re fed up just like we’re fed up and they finally put their foot down, they said they’re going to work with the community, work with our police department, to bring these individuals to justice,” he added.

Nielsen is so fed up with the growing crime, she said she’s planning on moving her family.

“This street has gotten out of control, you know, the cops are doing what they can, but the crime just keeps coming and coming,” she said.  

Since trying to save Jefferson’s life, she’s grown close to his mom and family, visiting them frequently. She hopes the arrest eventually leads to justice and healing for them.

“I’m so glad that his family can maybe have some closure now,” Nielsen said.  

Beloit police say they are working on more potential arrests in the case.