Homer man's shooting death under investigation

Homer man's shooting death under investigation

HOMER — Champaign County sheriff's investigators are continuing to talk to a Homer woman who is believed to have fatally shot her husband following a violent argument at their home Monday night.

Sheriff Dan Walsh said deputies were called to the 600 block of West Fourth Street in Homer at 10:15 p.m. for a report of a shooting.

They found Shawn E. Berkman, 26, dead of a single gunshot wound to the chest. According to Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup, Mr. Berkman was pronounced dead at 11:21 p.m.

Walsh said deputies have interviewed his wife of three years, Amanda Berkman, 30. They recovered a semi-automatic handgun that belonged to Mr. Berkman.

Walsh and his chief investigator, Lt. Ed Ogle, described Amanda Berkman as cooperating with deputies, although they declined to release many details of what she told them. She has not been arrested.

Three girls in the home, ages 2, 6, and 7, apparently slept through the struggle and are now with family.

Walsh and Ogle said there was evidence of a violent physical dispute but did not know how long it had been going on before the shooting. Mrs. Berkman was injured but did not require medical attention, Ogle said.

An autopsy on Mr. Berkman is scheduled for Wednesday.

Ogle said deputies had dealt with the Berkmans on at least one prior occasion.

Court records show that he was arrested in February 2010 for an incident at another home in Homer involving Amanda Berkman. Charged with aggravated domestic battery alleging that he choked her, Shawn Berkman later pleaded guilty to battery in July 2010 and was sentenced to 18 months of conditional discharge. He also spent 19 days in the county jail.

Walsh said crime scene technicians from the Illinois State Police and deputies are examining the scene and the evidence to see if it comports with what Amanda Berkman told them. They expected to interview her again.

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barber wrote on February 07, 2012 at 10:02 am

For all those who didn't know my brother, he was a wonderful caring man. He served his country for 15 months in 2007 in Iraq. He adopted two beautiful children in 2009, and his third daughter born on Veterans day in 2009. He had bright blue eyes, a great sense of humor, and a heart full of love. I will miss him greatly, yet take comfort in that he no longer suffers from illness or pain. He is with his combat buddies, and many other loved ones. He may be gone, but his soul lives on with his children and family. I love you little brother now and always. XO

kmv456 wrote on February 07, 2012 at 10:02 am

So sorry for your loss! Your family is in my prayers.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 07, 2012 at 11:02 am

Three little girls have their lives ahead of them.  Let us allow this story to fade for the sake of the little ones.

ugogirl wrote on February 07, 2012 at 11:02 am

I don't care how good of Man and Person he was. To abuse another person is wrong. The woman was trying to defend herself and her children. My heart goes out to you Amanda. May you now have peace in your life.

A Very Busy Mom wrote on February 07, 2012 at 11:02 am

Prayers for all affected by this.

The affects of war go far beyond the battlefield. 


kmv456 wrote on February 07, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I agree completely. I am in no way defending his actions (nor do I know the entire story or truth based on ONE news article), but these stories happen ALL the time. A man/woman goes off to war, sees and experiences horrific things a civilian can't even fathom. He/she returns with severe psychological issues that the military does very little to address and often times tries hard to ignore or disguise. My heart goes out to EVERYONE involved. There needs to be more education and resources pertaining to mental illness and maybe there would start to be less stigma. Again, not saying mental illness was a factor, but rather just speaking generally.

tellingthetruth wrote on February 07, 2012 at 2:02 pm

This is so very true.  War is very unfortunate for everyone; some soldiers can handle the stress some can't.  EVERY situation is different.  Thoughts go out to this entire family; it's not our place to judge anyone.  I'm very sorry this person's family who lost a brother, son, and father.  I grieve for this woman for how she had to protect herself; being a victim of domestic abuse is hard enough, but to have an ending like this is horrific. LOTS of prayers sent.   

Yea Right wrote on February 07, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Any man who puts his hands on a woman has a big problem, be it mental or otherwise, no excuses!!   Some women just get fed up with the abuse and see only 1 way out. My prayers go to the families, Amanda and the children.