Police: 14-year-old girl shot in back

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A teenage girl is hospitalized after a Champaign home was hit by a hail of gunfire early Monday morning.

The Champaign Police Department says officers responded around 12:17 a.m. after gunfire was heard near South Mattis Avenue and Chevy Chase Drive.

When police arrived, they say they found a home that was hit by 14 bullets. CPD says officers discovered a 14-year-old girl who had been shot in the back.

Investigators say she was taken to a hospital, where she went into surgery.

Police described her injury as serious, adding she is expected to survive.

Detectives say four people were inside the home when the shooting occurred. CPD says the house was fired at from the outside.

Champaign Police say they’re actively investigating the shooting, and no arrests have been made.

Champaign Unit 4 Schools said building leaders activated their trauma response team and counselors set up spaces and office hours for students that may need a space to process news of the 14-year-old’s injury.

Many youth have had the unfortunate experience of trauma and grief lately. The recent uptick in community violence unfortunately adds to an already heavy burden.  As educators we are committed to caring for the children and families we serve. We also understand that violence can have a significant impact on the social and emotional well-being of those directly and indirectly impacted. When we learned about this morning’s event, our building leaders immediately activated their trauma response team and counselors set up spaces and office hours for students that may need a space to process. 

In general, we are trying to get in front of issues (both systemic and local) that are hurting the people in our school community. Unit 4’s Office of Community Engagement is currently offering workshops that focus on healing conversations and our staff has begun to identify ongoing places for students to talk. Our workshop being offered next week will offer breakout sessions where students will connect with University graduate counselors, and meet local artists that offer unique ways to deal with trauma. However, we are in need of more opportunities for all members of the community to heal and we invite others to be a part of our efforts to end hurt, violence, and trauma. 

Champaign Unit 4 Schools

Ayan Harris and Sydnie Williams are leaders of I.Y.A.N. (Involvement Youth Activist Network). They say they’re heartbroken for the 14-year-old and the trauma she’s experienced.

“There’s no reason someone that young who hasn’t even experienced things in life should be a victim of things so cruel, so gruesome, so violent,” Williams said.

Harris said the shooting and recent gun violence has led to conversations with her 12-year-old brother that she wishes she didn’t have to have.

“It’s been pretty heartbreaking just having to deal with it and break down to these young children this is the world we’re living in,” Harris said.

The two are fighting to create lasting, positive change in the community, but can’t do it alone.

“At the end of the day, all we’re asking is for people in our own community, people in the Black community and people that are our friends and family to just be there for us and support us and fight alongside with us, because we’re fighting for you,” Williams said.

Detectives are asking anyone with security cameras nearby to contact them, as the footage may assist their investigation. Anyone with additional information can contact police at 217-351-4545. Investigators can meet with you privately.

People who want to submit information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.

Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for these crimes.

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