URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A victim of gun violence is using his story to raise awareness and encourage his community to protect themselves.
Jonathan Blake’s car was hit by gunfire the night of Nov. 18 in Urbana. We first reported the story on WCIA, and the scene is near Mathews and Bradley Avenues. One of those bullets went through the door and grazed him. Fortunately, he and his passenger are all right.
“So, basically what happened is as we parked the first gunshot came in, and it went through the back door. That was the first gunshot. The second gunshot came in right below the door handle and took out a chunk of the door handle, and as it entered the door, somehow by the grace of God it ricocheted in the back of my seat, and grazed me here on the left side,” Blake said.
Blake says he was dropping off a co-worker when someone pulled up next to them and started shooting.
“The first gunshot was just scary. We didn’t know exactly what was going on,” Blake said.
Blake said he has no idea why someone would target him, his co-worker or his car; and he’s frustrated the shooter was able to get away. That’s why he created Citizens Against Gun Violence.
“By a gracious donation and people hearing my pleas, we’re going to put in 100 wireless doorbell rings into the Urbana community,” Blake said.
Blake said that since Urbana City Council members voted against license plate readers, he’s raising money so people can get ring doorbell cameras installed if they choose. He says something needs to be done to ensure criminals like this are caught before they hurt someone else.
“I’m a fighter and I will get through it. It’s going to take a little bit, don’t get me wrong, but I’m one of the lucky ones. I survived,” Blake said.
Blake said his goal is to get 700 doorbell cameras installed across Champaign County, and he’s currently working on a website where people can apply to get those.
If you’d like to learn more about Blake’s cause, you can click here.
If you’d like to report this crime, receive a cash reward and remain anonymous you can open the camera app on your phone and point it at this flow code. That’ll direct you to the Champaign County Crime Stoppers website. Again, all your information remains anonymous.