CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — “I didn’t really know what was happening and then as the police arrived and neighbors started coming out of their houses, we started talking about bits and pieces of what was going on,” Bill Sunderland said.
Bill Sunderland lives near International Prep Academy.
He remembers the shooting that killed 17-year-old Jonathan McPhearson.
Champaign police say McPhearson was sitting outside an apartment complex along Kirby Avenue.
“Soon became obvious that someone had been shot,” Sunderland said.
Officers say McPhearson was approached by masked suspects who started shooting.
McPhearson was taken to the hospital where he later died.
At the time, police said it was not random and that McPhearson was targeted.
Raniya Beauregard who knew McPhearson was shocked when she found out.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Beauregard said.
To this day, Beauregard still visits his memorial site.
WCIA found her adding flowers.
“This means a lot to me because it’s like my safe place. this was my favorite person in the world,” Beauregard said.
Police are still trying to figure out who’s responsible for McPhearson’s death.
“It’s just not a lot of comfort when you know that someone is out there who committed this crime and is still at large as far as we know,” Sunderland said.
“I just feel like I live in an area that’s not as a safe as it used to be,” Sunderland said.
Beauregard says she’ll continue to honor her friend .and try to move forward.
“Everything I do now is for him. Everything I’m going to do in the future is going to be for him,” Beauregard said.
The Champaign Police Department asks that anyone who has additional information please contact police at 217-351-4545 or Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477 (TIPS).