CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)–Police in Champaign are investigating after a 26-year-old was shot and killed near Wellington Place Apartments.
Police arrived at the scene just before 5:00 p.m., and when they arrived they found a victim with a gunshot wound to his chest. Police said the victim was just outside a home when a suspect shot him. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but died on the way there. One neighbor living in the complex said incidents like these hardly happen out there.
“I’ve been living here about a little over a year,” Brandon Stauffer said. “Nothing like this has ever happened. The siren gets this close.”
Police are still investigating, they haven’t made any arrests up to this point. They’re asking anyone who witnessed the shooting or has any video footage to give them a call.
As that shooting scene unfolded, over in Urbana, activist group H.V. Neighborhood Transformation was marching to bring a stop to gun violence, holding a Peace Rally at King Park. It’s the latest part of their 40 Days of Peace Initiative.
Demonstrators said it’s this level of gun violence that will continue to be the cause for their marching, and that they’ll never give up on this community.
“Being a part of this community, we should come together,” one marcher, Shannah McGuire said. “If just one person could stand with someone else, and then someone else come, we can really make a difference.”
Champaign’s Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen was also a marcher in that rally. She talked about what the City of Champaign is doing to help curb gun violence, and they’ve started by putting an increased focus on downtown.
Last month, the city closed major parking lots late at night to prevent larger crowds from lingering late past midnight. They’ve also increased their police presence, and invested more into street lights and surveillance cameras. Feinen and other city leaders have even taken it upon themselves to patrol the area with police to make sure the area remains safe.
“We’ve got a lot of things going on,” Feinen said. “We’re just trying to make sure people feel safe and that we have an eye on what’s going on.”
Feinen said stopping gun violence long-term needs to be a multi-pronged effort, involving city leaders, community organizers, and the general public alike.