The call to action to stop violence across Central Illinois continues

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – Gun violence isn’t happening in just one place, it’s an issue across Central Illinois and the state.

“We need to stop breaking these mothers’ hearts,” Maurice Hayes, Executive Director and Founder of HV Neighborhood Transformation said.

This weekend shootings happened in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Danville, and Springfield.

“I’ve worked 4th of July in the past and it’s one of our highest call volume days of the year,” Brent Daugherty, a telecommunicator for Champaign County said.

Starting Friday, Central Illinois saw gun violence in cities across the area. In Rantoul, a 7 and 15-year-old were shot while they played in a front yard. A 17-year-old was shot and killed in Champaign.

Willy-Ann Hoff knows the feeling of losing a child all too well.

“I have a 16-year-old too and my son was also killed from gun violence,” Hoff said.

She said hearing news of more gun violence leaves her speechless.

“I was very disappointed because I’m not sure what Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, and the surrounding areas have gotten themselves into,” she said.

Hayes said they’ve been working to help end violence in the community, but he said he feels like things are getting worse, and now is the time to stand up.

“This is a call to action. It’s kind of the same call to action that we did during the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor incidents. The difference is it’s us killing us now,” he said. “So, now we got to get out there and protest the same way.”

There is a way you can get involved and bring awareness. On Friday, there’s a peace walk to bring an end to gun violence in Champaign. It starts in Garden Hill Park and will end in Beardsley Park.

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