URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)- Urbana Police have provided some updates on their investigation into the shooting death of an Urbana 16-year-old, while a family friend shares his memories and condolences for the family.
Earlier today, the Champaign County Coroner released the name of the teenager who was shot and killed outside an Urbana apartment building on Wednesday. Montrell Emery of Urbana was identified as the victim. He added that preliminary autopsy results indicated that Emery died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Family friend shares his memories, condolences
Tony Odom is a community activist who has been involved in the Champaign area for years, working to reduce gun violence. After hearing the unexpected news of Emery’s death, he is remembering the 16-year-old that he knew well.
Odom said that Emery was smart, and he knew that Emery would have been successful.
“This is a beautiful young man. Had always had a smile on his face, bright, you know what I’m saying. Very very intelligent, but well-mannered kid,” Odom said. “This is a real tragedy. I want people to really attach themselves emotionally. These are lives. These are lives being lost.”
Odom also remarked on his relationship with the family, and Emery’s parents. “His mother and his father, I’ve known them for a substantial amount of time in Champaign. Beautiful people, good people, working people,” he said.
“Condolences to the mother and just to the community and the father. I’ve known him for a long time. He’s like a little brother to me,”
He said that he doesn’t want any other parent to go through this pain, and wants to continue to provide programs to support the community where he can.
“Kids, when they’re 15 or 16, I was 15 or 16 at one point in my life. It’s a hard time because you got peer pressure, you may not be given all opportunities. Right now, I’m doing on ground mentoring, doing the basketball coaching, doing the haircutting still, I’m doing the personal mentoring.”
Odom said that no other kid should have their life taken away so soon. He added, “These are human beings that are dying. These are young kids that aren’t going to get an opportunity to do nothing in life. They’re gone.”
Police provide updates on investigation progress
Lieutenant Mike Cervantes with the Urbana Police shared with WCIA that the police department is still working on a motive, but that they know it was not a random act.
Cervantes confirmed that no arrests have been made at this time, but he said detectives are working on several leads. He said specifically that they are investigating a silver car that was on scene the morning of the shooting.
Urbana Police are asking that people contact the police department at 217-384-2320 if they know anything that could lead to answers.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may also submit tips to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.