Gathering at American Legion Post 559 meant to be a funeral repast before shooting


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)–What was supposed to be a day of remembrance quickly turned into tragedy.

On Friday afternoon, the family, friends and loved ones of David Dalton Jr. gathered for a funeral repast at American Legion Post 559, but it would become a nightmare when a group of suspects arrived, shot and killed 17-year old Kieshaun Thatch, and injured four other people.

According to spokespeople with Post 559, the family didn’t have a prior association to the post and were just using it as a venue to celebrate their loved one’s life. Dalton was previously killed by gunshots in June. The suspects who killed Thatch came to the scene just over 30 minutes after the main crowd had arrived.

Police say there were over 100 people gathering at the repast. In a press conference Friday night, Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb said this is especially concerning for police with the holiday weekend here.

“Recognize 5 people were struck. I don’t know everyone’s role in this incident, but it’s possible we may have already had an innocent person struck, and it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen that in our community,” Cobb said. “So this makes us very concerned when we see that.”

Police are remaining on high alert all throughout the weekend. They’re asking anyone who knows anything to give them or Crime Stoppers a call.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.