CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — One community leader said no matter where you live, violence affects everyone. Willie Comer, East Central Illinois’ Youth for Christ executive director and pastor at Berean Covenant Church, feels one shooting is too many. 

It comes after Tuesday night’s shooting in Champaign at Third and Beardsley.

Rashaud Weatherall, a 25-year-old from Danville, was killed and two others were hurt. Champaign Police confirmed they were released from the hospital. 

The Champaign County Coroner said Weatherall was shot during a family party.

Neighbors in the area said they were scared. One woman said she’s prepared to break her lease because she’s noticed an increase in violence. Another neighbor said she’s scared for her safety and for her young kids. 

Comer said he’s working on opening up more dialogue with kids through East Central Illinois’ Youth For Christ Organization. He wants to build trust with them and teach them the importance of not picking up guns. 

“I’m able to grab a kid, put my arm around them and say, ‘man, listen. What are you dealing with, where you are, where are you in the midst of this?,’” he said. 

Comer added he wants to create a domino effect and have tough talks with the hundreds of kids and young adults he works with each week. 

“I’ll have a conversation about this situation tomorrow with a group of kids that we meet with.” 

He said not having hard conversations will disengage the kids from the community, and could make community violence worse. 

“Cause if that was someone’s cousin or that was someone’s brother or their uncle now they’re mad, angry and they, maybe they’re looking for revenge.”

He said he prays that Champaign will see gun violence go down, and is hopeful for the future. 

To do that, he has lunch with middle and high school students in Champaign, hosts a midnight basketball league and invites students to the Youth For Christ center to hang out, play video games and talk. 

“Engaging with them, putting them in spaces where they’re constantly busy. They don’t have time to pick up guns. That’s not even a concept in their heads,” Comer said.  

Comer said sometimes it’s hard to tell when someone is hurting. 

“That might’ve been your friend, that might’ve been your homeboy, or it might be someone you don’t even know but they’re your age,” he said. 

But he’s motivated to keep working with hundreds of kids and young adults each week. 

“We have to change the heart, cause if we don’t, this will continue,” he said. 

Champaign Police said it’s still an ongoing investigation and they’re working to find more answers. If you have any information or video from the area, they encourage you to call them at 217-351-4545. 

You can also stay anonymous and submit tips to Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477 (TIPS) or online at 373tips.com.