Champaign, Ill. (WCIA) —
“This is not a safe city anymore,” Roy Beard, part time cop in between jobs, said.
People are calling one man a hero after they say he chased away a shooter in Champaign. Police are still looking for leads. The suspect, or suspects, are still on the loose. This all happened last night on West Springfield Avenue and Country Fair Drive.
WCIA reporters were on scene where people running around. One girl was crying in her car. WCIA spoke to some people, who say one man saved their lives. One of them talked with us, but didn’t want his face shown on camera.
“I saw a guy and a couple other guys come out of the bushes by the bank, and then the next thing you know, five minutes later one dude looked me in the eye and he was at the corner, and he pointed the gun at me,” Witness said.
Then, bullets started flying at this parking lot in Champaign.
“I felt my life flash before my own eyes for the very first time. I got scared,” Witness said. “We started running and I told my buddies, I was like guys go, go and then later on he started unloading clips first and his buddies started unloading the clips again.”
Police found 54 shell casings at the scene. Three vehicles and the Smoker’s Spot were also damaged. The owner says he’s grateful no one was killed.
“I might get killed yesterday. If I was outside I might get shot and I have nothing to do with it,” Rabah Khattab, Owner of Smoker’s Spot, said.
People who were outside weren’t as lucky. A 19-year-old was shot in the leg and taken to the hospital. Another person was grazed by a bullet. Witnesses say it all would’ve been worse if it wasn’t for a stranger who pulled up just in time.
“I heard shots just going off. Just popping off and I thought it was fireworks or something,” Roy Beard said.
Roy Beard is a part time cop in between jobs. He was dropping off something for his son, when he heard the chaos.
“I heard the shot. I knew what was going on, and automatically just kicked in and I did what I need to do,” Beard said.
He put his car in park and sprang into action.
“He looked at me, and I could tell he was getting ready to reload. Then I drew my weapon on him, and then he saw me and he slipped down, and then he proceeded to run behind the bank,” Beard said.
Beard says he carefully chased the suspect, who jumped in a car and drove away.
“The training kicked in, is basically what it was. I didn’t even think twice about it,” Beard said.
Other witnesses on scene called Beard a hero, and are grateful to be alive. Champaign Police are still investigating. They encourage people to contact the police or call crime stoppers if they have any more information. They also encourage people to send in surveillance camera footage.