CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — One person is dead, four others injured after a shooting in Champaign this afternoon, according to Champaign Police.
The Champaign County Coroner’s office identified 17-year old Kieshaun Thatch as the victim. He was found by police just after 3:00 p.m. with gunshot wounds to his chest. He was taken to Carle, where he was pronounced dead.
At 3:04 p.m., police say they began receiving notifications that four additional gunshot victims were arriving to local area hospitals as well as Champaign Fire Station 3. The victims included three males and one pregnant female who are all believed to be in stable condition. Police have confirmed five total victims related to the incident, which includes the deceased.
In a press conference, Police Chief Anthony Cobb called for people to put their guns down, and expressed concern over how the weekend could play out in the wake of this shooting.
We don’t want this to continue. We don’t want to see any more bloodshed in our community, the rest of this weekend or the rest of this year,” Cobb said. “We’ve had our fill of it. We’d be happy to not have to respond to another shooting this weekend. But we need our public’s cooperation.”
The preliminary investigation indicates there was a large gathering of more than 100 individuals at American Legion. At one point during the gathering, the suspect(s) approached the 17- year old male in the parking lot and fatally wounded him. Gunfire ensued, leading to multiple victims. Police approximate more than 50 rounds of gunfire was exchanged.
“Families were there. Children were there. Toddlers were there. It easily could’ve been one of them,” Chief Cobb said. “I’m not ready to say it hasn’t been one of them. Five people were struck.”
Police are continuing to process the scene and are interviewing witnesses. No arrests have been made at this time and the investigation is ongoing. Future updates may be provided as they become available.
Champaign Police ask that anyone who has additional information to please contact police at 217-351-4545. Arrangements can be made for information to be shared privately. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may also submit tips to Crime Stoppers by phone at 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.
Citizens are reminded that information submitted to Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous. Calls are routed to a third-party national call center that receives your information, completes a tip information form, and then passes the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Caller ID tracking is not utilized by Crime Stoppers and conversations are not recorded.
Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for this crime.
Article updated on 7/2/21 at 4:30 p.m.
Dozens of shots have been fired outside the American Legion Post 559 in Champaign. At least one person was seen being taken away in an ambulance. Dozens of shell casings were seen in the parking lot.
Hickory Street and the Legion parking lot is blocked off. Several law enforcement agencies are outside the 700 block of North Hickory in Champaign.
There was a family gathering going on at the time shots were fired.
This is a developing story.
HAPPENING NOW– A heavy police presence is outside the 700 Block of North Hickory in Champaign, near the American Legion.
A large crowd has gathered nearby. Police have the Legion parking lot roped off. Several law enforcement agencies are out there. Ambulances were seen leaving the area.
This is a developing story.