URBANA, Ill (WCIA) — A Champaign man is dead after an incident that happened in Urbana Monday morning. Shots were fired, but 23-year-old Richard Wright died from stab wounds.
Gunshots sounded through Urbana’s Silverwood neighborhood around 3AM near the corner of Philo Road and Silver Street. Officers responded minutes later.
Police found Wright laying in the parking lot of an apartment building. Medics rushed him to the hospital where he later died. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says stab wounds were the cause.
Officers say two other men involved were hurt and also taken the hospital. They say a fight outside one of the units lead up to the murder.
“That’s the scary part. Even though this happened at three in the morning, there’s been times where these shooting have happened during the day,” says Silverwood resident Giovanna DiBenedetto. “There are a lot of families in this neighborhood. My girls play with these kids in the parking lot adjacent.”
DiBenedetto leads a Silverwood safety and food security group. She says it’s time for the community to take things into their own hands.
“Accountability. Right now, there’s very little accountability or help, even for the landlords to weed out these people,” says DiBenedetto.
Will Winston manages an apartment building across the street from where the homicide happened, and agrees that things must change.
“Over in [my] building here, we try to keep the doors locked. I try to keep the people who don’t live in the building…out,” says Winston. “Get a degree, go to school, [or] get a job. Don’t ruin your life. I know what it is to live with this kind of life. It’s real tough when money is tight.”
“We just have to find a solution. We have to be willing to fight for it, and to put in the work and time,” adds DiBenedetto