URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — “Its just traumatizing neighborhoods and people,” Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin said.
That’s because people are being shot and even killed in their own homes. Violence in Champaign and Urbana has people across the board upset, from city leaders to those working to stop violence to neighbors watching it all happen.
Last night in Urbana, police say three men walked up to a house on Church street and started firing. Four people were hit. 42-year-old Johanna Cowart-Williams died on scene. This comes a day after a woman in Champaign was shot five times answering her door.
Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin says we need help. She says short term, the community needs help from local, state, and federal levels, plus she says members of the community need to come together to interrupt the violence.
She went on to say education, jobs, housing, and mental and physical health are ways to slow violence long term, but she said there needs to be action now. Marlin says they are upping police patrols, but she said two types of shootings have been the main threats. The first one is out of retaliation, so it’s hard for police to predict where the shootings will happen to prevent them. Marlin said the second type of shootings we’re seeing is shooting into homes. She said younger people have been more involved and the guns being used can “spew” dozens of bullets.
“This pattern of retaliation. Its just escalating and its got to stop and its not just targeting that individuals anymore there’s this new trend towards just indiscriminate shooting at houses or drive by shootings,” Mayor Marlin said.
Tonight at Champaign City Council people voiced their opinions, with concerns about the violence.
“What are we going to do about this? You guys are the leaders. Help us lead,” Creel Unbelove’d said.
At the meeting, the Champaign City Council did not comment on this matter.