“It’s not going to get any better it’s only going to get worse…” People react to string of shootings in Champaign-Urbana


URBANA, Ill (WCIA) – Some people in Champaign-Urbana are at a loss for words after a shooting that killed 1 woman and hurt 3 others.

The shooting happened early Tuesday morning on Church St. near Goodwin Ave. in Urbana. Police said the suspects shot through windows and walls.

Detectives said they do think this is linked to a number of shootings and murders in Urbana and Champaign. We’ve reported before that people living near shooting scenes have said the crime stems from retaliation, but people don’t know what to do anymore to help.

Neighbors in Urbana were woken up by the sound of gun fire.

“All they got to do is go buy a gun from somebody, and they can buy it off the street. It’s ridiculous. It very much is. I mean look at this. Come on,” one neighbor said.

Police said 3 men walked up to a house on church street in Urbana and started firing. Inside, four people were hit. Including, a 21-year-old who told first responders she couldn’t feel her legs.

Johanna Cowart-Williams was also inside. Police said she was hit several times. Officers tried to give her CPR, but she died on scene.

Maurice Hayes is with HV neighborhood transformation. He said a line has been clearly crossed

“They ain’t no steppers, they ain’t no shooters. They’re cowards shooting up people’s houses. Man, these people don’t have nothing to do with nothing that’s going on. But you’re gonna shoot up somebody’s house and kill their mama. I’m pissed off,” Hayes said.

He said after hearing about this shooting and another this week in Champaign, where a woman was shot 5 times in her home, he’s starting to feel helpless.

“The only thing we can do is sit back and watch this happen, it’s weird. It makes me feel paralyzed that there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said.

He believes it’s escalated to this point because people have let it.

“Quietly allowing it to happen. As many years as these shootings have been going on in Champaign-Urbana, nothing was ever done about it. So, if that’s the case, it’s going to grow. If I can do this with nothing, no repercussions, oh man! It’s like a kid’s playground,” he said.

He said he just keeps hoping the next day isn’t worse.

“That’s the painful part when you feel like you have nothing that you can do, when you feel like there’s nothing you can do, you just gotta wake up in the morning and pray someone that you know isn’t the one who got killed, or their mom isn’t the one who got killed,” he said.

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