CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill., (WCIA) — “It’s disheartening, it’s concerning, this is my community, I’ve grown up in this community,” Lieutenant Ben Newell with the Champaign Police Department said when discussing gun violence in the Champaign area. 

Champaign was one of two police departments to announce a significant reduction in gun violence over the last year, and it was the talk of three Champaign County agencies that met on Wednesday at the Champaign County Community Coalition meeting. 

Hours after that announcement, 24-year-old Taveon Davis was shot and killed near the Philo Road and Michigan Avenue intersection in Urbana. Lieutenant Michael Cervantes with Urbana Police said the murder is still under investigation, but they don’t think it was random. 

“It’s disheartening for us just as much as it is for the community,” Cervantes said.

Newell said the community isn’t out of the woods yet. While Newell and Cervantes are glad the numbers have decreased between last year and now, they said the effort doesn’t stop here. 

“Whatever we can do together as a community, working with the police department to reduce it, that’s what we’re going to try to do,” Newell said. 

He said shootings are down 49% in Champaign compared to the same time last year. 

Across town in Urbana, Cervantes said they are at a 53% reduction in shootings, also compared to the same time last year. 

“We want to do what we can to protect them and those out there and get the people who are responsible for the crimes off the streets,” Cervantes said. 

Newell agrees and said making more arrests are only one step to keeping the downward momentum going. 

“Witnesses that are willing to cooperate and tell us what actually happened, that benefits,” Newell said. 

Willie Comer, Youth for Christ’s Executive Director, said the reduction also starts by changing the culture and creating relationships. 

He works with over 200 6th-12th graders every week. 

“This is a real life, part of their world,” he said. “I’ve got kids who have told me that their fathers have been murdered or have been a part of shootings and, I want to know where they are.”

He said he’s thankful to see the difference but knows people of all ages need to keep working together. 

“We can’t relax. We can’t sit back. And I challenge all of our parents, and all of our community leaders to keep pressing. Let’s keep pressing. It’s not over.” 

No arrests have been made in Wednesday’s murder. Urbana Police said they could not share additional information about the suspect at this time.

It’s not the first time there was a shooting at the Philo and Michigan intersection in Urbana. Two years ago, a teenager was shot and killed in the same area.