Police: Shooting at busy intersection likely not retaliatory

Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)– It’s unlikely a shooting that left a 24-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the head was retaliatory, Champaign police said Monday. This, following a recent pattern of targeted shootings across Central Illinois.

Instead, police believe this was a result of road rage, according to Lt. Geoff Coon.

The shooting happened near N Prospect Ave and W Town Center Blvd in north Champaign on Sunday around 1:15 p.m.

Similar to a drive-by that left a 9-year-old hurt just two weeks ago, this happened on a busy street, right near a lot of businesses in the middle of the day.

Betsy Holder was driving home when she happened on the scene.

“I was coming up on it and I was like, ‘This does not look like an auto accident,'” she described.

Holder should know. As a personal injury lawyer, she’s seen pictures of countless car wrecks, but she’s also a mom whose 5-year-old was in the car. Holder said she told him to look the other way.

“The person was bleeding and they were working on them, and when I got up there the ambulance had just come, and was getting out the gurney and pulling around. But yeah, you could definitely tell…” she trailed off momentarily. “I figured somebody had been shot.”

Two cars were involved, according to a Sunday news release compiled by Lt. Coon. One opened fire on the other, shooting a 24-year-old man in the head.

Lt. Coon couldn’t comment any further about what happened leading up to the apparent road rage but the initial investigation leads them to believe that’s what caused the shooting. It does not appear to be in retaliation for another gun violence incident, he added.

“I’m not personally nervous, but there are people who I [know], a number of people, especially people who are older, that don’t feel comfortable going out,” Holder said.

WCIA 3 called about ten businesses right near where the shooting happened. Most would not comment. A couple of managers said it affected the flow of customers coming in while the scene was active but it was back to business as usual Monday.

There are cameras perched on top of all four traffic lights where this shooting happened, but we’re told they are not going to help with the investigation. They exist only to trigger traffic signals, according to Champaign Public Works. The local agency added, the cameras don’t record video.

Holder doesn’t think cameras would’ve prevented anything.

“I don’t think it’s going to deter crime,” she said. “I think, again, what we’re seeing here, whether it’s shooting through a school bus, people don’t care if there are cameras.”

Police said they don’t know of any city cameras that could’ve captured the shooting. They are asking for businesses with outside security cameras in that area to call the Champaign Police Dept.

No arrests have been made and the crime remains under investigation as of Monday.

Police said the man who was shot was in critical but stable condition as of this morning.

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