CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Exactly one year ago, a man was shot in the middle of the day on a busy street in Champaign. He’s still recovering, and his case is still unsolved.
“Keep this at the top of our minds that this happened in our town. They haven’t caught anybody yet, so that bothers me as well,” Mike Namoff said.
Champaign police are still searching for the person who shot now-25-year-old Liam Gasser in the head in broad daylight.
“It was devastating for a lot of people to say, ‘hey, that happened on Prospect Avenue in the middle of the day,'” Namoff said.
Police called it a road rage incident. Last year, Gasser’s mother – Terry Von Thaden – said he was shopping for Halloween costume supplies. Another driver cut him off, Gasser honked his horn, and someone shot him.
“This one hit our community so hard that people stop me and say ‘hey, how’s Liam?’” Namoff said.
Since that day, Gasser has been living with a traumatic brain and spinal injury. Mega Events President Mike Namoff organized a fundraiser to cover medical bills, and said he became friends with Gasser and his family.
“Liam has dreams. Liam has goals,” he said.
Hundreds showed up to the “Love for Liam” benefit in April. Namoff said people wanted to help in any way they could.
“So many people in the community have stepped up, including contractors and individuals to help get the house handicap-accessible,” Namoff said.
Some of the proceeds from Gasser’s benefit were sent to the Trauma and Resilience Initiative. Namoff said Gasser told him he hopes to see a new rehab facility built in town to help other people recovering from injuries like his.
“Here’s what’s interesting about Liam. He’s thinking about others while this trauma has happened to him,” Namoff said.
We reached out to Champaign police for an update, and they said this case remains a high priority. But it’s an ongoing investigation, so they can’t share any more details.