CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A 17-year old is dead after a shooting Saturday evening in Champaign.
It happened on the corner of Fifth Street and Beardsley Avenue. Officers got to the scene just before 6 p.m. and found shell casings and the body of 17-year old Quansay Markham. The Champaign County Coroner’s office pronounced Markham dead at 6:25 p.m. at Carle Hospital.
Witnesses said they saw someone drive up to a blue car, get out, and start firing. Sara Bohannon, who lives on the same block, as her three grandchildren were playing outside when the shots were fired.
“I had to yell at them to get back in the house,” Bohannon said. “We have to put a stop to this.”
Bohannon, whose son was shot and killed 17 years ago, said she knows firsthand the pain of losing someone to gun violence, and how toxic it is to communities everywhere. She worries that more mothers will experience the same heartbreak she felt if nothing changes.
“We’ve got to love one another,” Bohannon said. “That’s what God wants us to do. It might be hard, but no. This life is getting shorter and shorter. We’ve got to. These kids, they don’t deserve that.”
Jerome White served a 25-year sentence for shooting and killing a man. He said his son was shot and killed while he was inside. He said the cycle of gun violence does more damage than what the community sees.
“It’s not only tearing the community apart. It’s tearing families apart,” White said. “Not only do you have a child going to prison at some point and another in the graveyard, you’ve got two families that are torn.”
He said he wants to see dollars put back into the community, in the areas most affected by gun violence.
Police are still searching for the suspect. So far, no arrests have been made. They’re asking anyone with surveillance footage or an eye witness account to give them or Crime Stoppers a call.