10-year-old shooting victim’s mother: It’s a ‘long road ahead’


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — We have new details tonight about the 10-year-old who was shot on Sunday in his home. Police say that same house may have been shot at a month ago.

Investigators couldn’t confirm if it was the same shooter both times. They only said that, a month ago, there was gunfire in the same area.

That’s on Williamsburg Drive near Garden Hills Drive. No one was hit last month, but on Sunday, Decari Roberts was seriously hurt. His mother says he just got out of surgery and is fighting. She says he’s okay but has a long road ahead.

“Unfortunately, the reality is that we have gun violence in our community,” said Champaign Police Investigations Lieutenant Nathan Rath.

The tragedy of a 10-year-old being shot in his bedroom is something police say is their top priority.

“This was definitely not a random act of violence. This was a targeted act. We do not have any reason at this time to believe that the 10-year-old was the intended target of this act.”

While police still try to figure who fired the gun, and who they intended to shoot, Decari Roberts is recovering in the hospital. His mother says he’s making progress, but has a long way to go.

This is the third time a child has been shot at in the Garden Hills neighborhood in the last two years. David Sankey, 16, was shot and killed in August 2018 near his house. Elijha Booker, 14, died after he was shot in May. Police can’t say why gun violence happens in this neighborhood more than others, but most of these shootings have something in common.

“Usually these are disagreements or conflicts between individuals, and usually the gun violence happens where the individual happens to be at that time,” said Rath.

Investigators say they are doing everything they can to find the person responsible. They’re also adding more patrols in the area and ask neighbors to turn in video surveillance if they have it.

“We’re doing the best that we can to share information with the community so that they can be as well-informed as possible, and we ask in return that they share as much information as they can with us to help us in our investigation so that we can better address the gun violence issue,” said Rath.

Roberts’ mother says she wants people to know that Roberts is strong, and that his family is grateful that the community has been kind to them.

A GoFundMe has been created to donate to the family. Mack’s Twin-City Recycling has also chosen the family as their charity.

Champaign schools also posted on their Facebook, asking people to give.

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