Neighborhood reacts after 5th grader shot


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A 5th grader was shot twice in the back last night in his own bedroom. Now, he’s at the hospital in a medically-induced coma.

It happened on Williamsburg near Garden Hills Drive. Police say someone outside the house shot at it several times.

10-year-old Decari Roberts was hit. His mother says he was walking to his bedroom when it happened. He’s a student at Stratton Elementary School.

Police say he was probably not the intended target, but people in this neighborhood say it doesn’t matter who the target is or what it’s about. The shootings need to stop.

A trip from the kitchen to the bedroom isn’t something you expect to be risky, but for 10-year-old Decari Roberts, it almost cost him his life. He was shot twice in the back while in his room.

“They don’t know exactly how… or why, I should say, they were targeted,” said Garden Hills Neighborhood Association President Chad Smith. “I can’t imagine trying to inflict that pain on a family.”

Smith is helping the family during the boy’s recovery.

“I just wanted to reach out help them through this time and see if they need anything,” said Smith.

Roberts was rushed to the hospital and immediately went into surgery. He’s in a coma in critical condition.

“To just blindly shoot into someone’s home is a super cowardly act.” said Smith. “It’s not random. It’s not just random drive-bys. Obviously there’s something that is causing these issues.”

Police believe whoever shot at the house wasn’t trying to hit the 10-year-old, but Smith feels it doesn’t matter.

“Street justice has the ability to be a situation just like this where somebody, an unintended target, a minor a child that is undeserving of this is targeted once again,” said Smith. “My only advice is to stay out of trouble… to not be involved in criminal activity, gangs, drugs, and you won’t bring that stuff home or to your neighborhood.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Golf Tour Extravaganza 2020
Fill out my online form.