Frequent shootings raise concern


RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — Three days of gun violence have some people demanding better. Bullets have hit a teenager, homes and vehicles, and people who live there say enough is enough. Police are echoing that concern. They also hope something will break the cycle.

Police say there’s no reason to believe they are related. The first happened Sunday night on Saint Andrews Circle near Willow Pond Drive. No one was hurt, but they got four calls for shots fired. The second happened Monday night on Abram Drive. A 17-year-old was shot in the arm. The third was Tuesday morning. Someone fired a gun and hit a house. Some believe the impact on the community is the same, no matter why a shooting happens.

“It’s dangerous out here,” said Sheretta Myers.

No 17-year-old should fear for their lives outside of their home. But that was the reality for Myers’ great nephew Monday night on Abram Drive.

“It’s not just a fist fight anymore. It’s, ‘I’m gon’ kill you,'” said Myers.

That violence is becoming an all-too-common story for people in Rantoul recently with three shots fired or shootings in three days.

“I think that people really need to come together. The community need to come together and there need to be some prayer vigils; there need to be some prayer walks,” said Myers.

Wendell Golston is a member of Concerned Citizens of Rantoul. He believes the draw to violence starts in the home.

“They don’t have the wherewithal to resolve conflicts when they come upon them. And when that happens, instead of give me my ball back or give me my book or whatever the situation is, they resort to violence,” said Golston.

Golston says kids also need more to keep them busy.

“We have a lot of adult programs, but we don’t have anything that’s directly appealing to children.”

Police want to reassure people they’re doing what they can to stop the pattern.

“We’ve got limited manpower, but basically use our resources more effectively and focus on the areas where the problems are,” said Sergeant Rodney Sullivan. “We’ll do some target patrols, stuff like that, just basically to be seen to try and prevent similar incidents from happening.”

Around three to six officers are on during a shift in Rantoul. They say they are a couple short right now because some are out for training.

Anyone can be part of the Concerned Citizens of Rantoul. Their next meeting is the second Monday in December at 7 p.m. at Rantoul Public Library.

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