Shooting leads to new parking restrictions

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Two people are in custody after almost 30 shots were fired and one person was injured in downtown Champaign early Saturday morning.

It happened in a city parking lot near Neil and Hill street. They are 20-year old Jawon Brown and 25-year old Allen Baines. When shots rang out eye-witnesses say there were close to 100 people socializing in the lot.

Police say the shooting was related to an argument. It was the final straw in the city wanting to put a stop to these gatherings.

“Today when we unfortunately learned of a shooting last night related to one of these gatherings, the city staff decided it was time,” says Champaign Communications Manager Jeff Hamilton. “We needed to put some new restrictions in place.”

Police say they collected 28 shell casings of different types of ammunition, meaning more than one gun was fired in the exchange. Police say Brown and Baines left the scene in a car before crashing near Neil and University. They were both arrested on weapons charges after a loaded gun was found in the car.

A third man in their car had been shot in the foot. He was taken to the hospital.

The two city owned parking lots near downtown will now close at 9 p.m. this weekend. It comes down to limiting the spread of COVID-19 as much as they can.

“That’s just something we’re slightly worried about,” says Hamilton. “We want to just make sure our community is as safe as possible, that we’re all doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and properly following social distancing guidelines.”

The Washington Street entrance is the only way in or out Saturday and Sunday night after nine. City employees will be at the entrance making sure no one comes in after that time. The lot will be locked at midnight. Cars that are still there at that time will have to be moved when the lot opens at 7 the next morning.

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