Update: 6:02 pm, 11/1/16, Tuesday
URBANA — For the sixth time in the last two-and-a-half weeks, there’s been a shooting in the city. Two men were arrested after Tuesday’s shooting. It happened just after midnight near the 200-block of S. Grove.
Eric and Darius Kirk are brothers. They face weapons charges and parole violations, but police are still looking for answers.
Residents are pretty shaken up. They were in shock at first, but they say it’s sinking in now. They love their neighborhood and want to make sure this shooting doesn’t define it.
After the sun set on Halloween night, people who live on Grove Street heard something scary.
“It was like, ‘Boom boom boom.’ And, ‘Oh my god,'” said Tina Wyatt “‘That’s gunshots’ and at that point, I thought, ‘Oh my God. This can’t be happening.'”
The Wyatt’s front yard is usually full of flowers. Instead it was covered in crime tape.
“The cops were there within two minutes,” said Tina’s husband, Scott.
“Am I surprised? Unfortunately I’m not,” said Lt. Rich Surles.
That’s because officers have been on high alert after a series of shootings the last couple weeks. Special detectives were on patrol when it happened.
“We’re doing what we can with what we’ve got as best as we can at this point,” said Surles.
Tina doesn’t even like watching crime shows on TV, let alone seeing an investigation unfold outside her window.
“They were doing bullets from here to here because there were bullets over here, there were bullets over there in the alley,” said Tina.
Alderman Dennis Roberts lives just feet from where it all happened.
“This, we hope, is just an isolated incident, but we’re going to be tracking and watching it in case it’s not,” said Roberts.
“We’re a community and we take care of each other, but this shouldn’t be happening like this around here,” said Chafton Sanders, who lives in the neighborhood.
Instead of staying scared, neighbors are standing together.
“We’re a community and we’re going to get it better,” said Sanders. “It’s going to get better. We can’t do anything but get better. We’re going to be all right.”
“We’re going to take back our neighborhood and we’re going to do everything we can with our local people and our alderman and we’re going to have to do something,” said Tina. “We can’t have this and we’re the ones who can stop it.”
They hope it will keep something even more terrifying from happening next Halloween or any other night. People say they have a little less anxiety knowing two men were arrested.
The neighborhood group is also planning to meet next week to talk about how to move forward.
Eric and Darius Kirk have not been charged directly in connection with the shooting. Police say they believe other people may have been involved with the crime.
Leaders from Champaign, Urbana and University of Illinois Police, as well as the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, met Tuesday to make sure they were all on the same page. They meet regularly and also after these kinds of crimes.
Original: 8:40 am, 11/1/16, Tuesday
URBANA — Police say they’re now investigating a sixth shooting in two and a half weeks. Tuesday morning, police responded to several reports of shots fired in the 200-block of South Grove Street.
Neighbors described hearing upwards of a dozen shots. Several called 911. When officers arrived, they found two people wounded; a 49-year old woman and a 22-year old man. They’re both expected to be okay.
During the investigation, police wound up at the home of Eric and Darius Kirk. The parolees were found with two guns. Both were arrested.
Police say they can tell there was a shooting at the crime scene and evidence of shots fired from one of the handguns, but they can’t connect the two men until they do more forensic investigating.
At this point, there’s no connection between this shooting and others in the area over the past two weeks. It’s not something police have ruled out, but, in some of those crimes, they’re still looking for suspects.