Neighbors plea for an end to gun violence in Champaign

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Three days in a row last week there were shootings along Bradley Ave. Sunday night a 17-year-old was shot and taken to the hospital and that’s just the latest in a string of violence. It’s an issue city leaders aren’t taking lightly.

“Our city is not alone. This is happening all over America,” Tom Bruno, Champaign city councilman said.

Albert Like has called Bradley Ave home for over 40 years. He said it’s a great place to live and raise his family.

“We can’t take away all the good things of this community. We cannot turn this into a bad thing,” Like said.

He said it’s time for the community to step up and help.

“These are our kids, our cousins. We know who these people are, we do. These are our friends, our neighbors, we know. We must step up, we must stop them,” he said.

City Councilman Tom Bruno said city leaders are looking closely at the crimes.

“It’s almost everyone’s number 1 problem right now,” Bruno said.

He said the city is considering different angles to help. Including partnering with community organizations and outreach programs, but he said he knows the fix won’t happen overnight.

“The answer is yes, but this is not going to be an easy problem for us to solve,” Bruno said.

In the meantime, Like said the people who are involved should remember it’s not just about them. The crimes hurt people across the community.

“It’s not just your actions that you do it’s your whole family legacy that you leave behind. And it’s the people that you want, your nieces, your nephew, your sons, your daughters to look up to. Let’s give them something to look up to,” Like said.

Bruno said if you feel like you have an approach or an idea you think will work to reach out to the city. He said they are open to anything people think will help.

Champaign police said these incidents are between people who know each other. Often it’s retaliation for something that happened in the past or because of disputes on social media. Police said they are still investigating all of the shootings.

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