Community mourns after loss of Champaign Police officer


MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) — Throughout the day on Wednesday, there was an outpouring of support for a Champaign Police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Officer Chris Oberheim lived in Monticello with his family. People who knew him said he was always helping other people. This loss will be felt by everyone in the community.

It did not take long for law enforcement to show support for fallen officer, Chris Oberheim. They lined the streets outside of Carle Hospital in Urbana.

“He was just a good guy, always trying to do the right thing. Always do right by the people he came in contact with,” said Mike Verchota, friend of Oberheim’s.

Oberheim was a father of four–three of his children are still at Monticello Schools.

“It’s definitely a devastating tragedy for all of us,” said Superintendent Vic Zimmerman.

When he was not serving as an officer, friends said softball was a big part of Oberheim’s world. He coached travel teams.

Verchota said Oberheim could be found several times a week helping students or his daughters learn the game.

“He gave a lot of his time to many girls in the area with youth softball,” said Verchota. “All of his girls were passionate about softball therefore Chris was passionate about softball.

“I’m still in shock. It’s hard to believe,” Verchota said. “We just had a game last night. I just stood with him for seven innings.”

“Anything that his kids were involved in, he was all in 100 percent,” said Zimmerman.

His selflessness to his community and family is what many will remember him for.

“He truly believed in what he was doing out there in the police force and all the time that he gave to youth softball selflessly, never asking anything in return to me speaks volumes about who he was as a person,” said Verchota.

The superintendent said their thoughts and prayers are with this family and other families of police officers during this time.

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