Champaign man arrested following fatal shooting at Champaign motel

Champaign man arrested following fatal shooting at Champaign motel

CHAMPAIGN — A Champaign man has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of an Indiana woman early Friday morning at a Champaign motel.

Champaign police spokeswoman Rene Dunn said that Antonio Brown, 20, of Champaign, has been arrested for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and aggravated discharge of a firearm.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said that Sydni Kay Blackwell, 20, of Williamsport, Ind., was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. Friday at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

According to a preliminary police report, Brown accidentally shot Ms. Blackwell, his girlfriend, at the Super 8 Motel, 202 W. Marketview Drive, Champaign, at 3:01 a.m.

The report said that both Brown and Ms. Blackwell told police that Brown improperly handled a gun, causing it to accidentally discharge a round and wound Ms. Blackwell.

Brown took Ms. Blackwell to the hospital so she could be treated for the gunshot wound.

Dunn said police arrested Brown after recovering the gun that had been used in the shooting.

Northrup said an autopsy has been scheduled for Saturday.

An inquest may be held at a later date.

The death is being investigated by Northrup’s office and the Champaign Police Department.


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wilsona wrote on January 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm

See how well probation and plea agreements work?  This guy had a prior conviction for unlawful use of weapons and was given probation.....Now a woman is dead.  Probation seems very effective over and over again for these repeat offenders.

narciblog wrote on January 12, 2013 at 9:01 am

Yes, clearly the entirety of the criminal justice system can be judged by this single incident.

wilsona wrote on January 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Not on this single incident.  On the huge number of incidents in the past few years in this area and the constant need to dismiss, give probation and court supervision.  Things are getting worse...Look around.

CarolynAtkinson wrote on January 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Do you know this young man?  Because I do, and your comment about probation not being effective does not address the details of this incident, nor the young man involved.  He is a good person who has been working very hard to get his life back on track.  Perhaps better gun control is a more intelligent course of action.

wilsona wrote on January 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm

He's working hard at getting his life back on track while playing with a loaded gun in a hotel room?  I'd hate to see how bad he'd be if he stopped trying to improve.

rsp wrote on January 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm

There's nothing in the story that says he was "playing with it". We also don't know whose gun it was. It may have been her's. He may have thought it was unloaded. The fact of the matter is nobody knows what happened except the two who were there and they both gave statements. Even if the possession of the gun was legal the exact same thing could have happened because it has happened before. It really isn't fair to make it sound like this was intentional.

Justsayit wrote on January 13, 2013 at 6:01 pm

"It really isn't fair to make it sound like this was intentional".  Except for the fact that it was charged as intentional.  

(720 ILCS 5/24‑1.2) (from Ch. 38, par. 24‑1.2)

Sec. 24‑1.2. Aggravated discharge of a firearm.

(a) A person commits aggravated discharge of a firearm when he or she knowingly or intentionally:

   (1) Discharges a firearm at or into a building he or she knows or reasonably should know to be occupied and the 
firearm is discharged from a place or position outside that building;  

   (2) Discharges a firearm in the direction of another person or in the direction of a vehicle he or she knows or 
reasonably should know to be occupied by a person;  

rsp wrote on January 14, 2013 at 2:01 am

He doesn't appear to be charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, though. According to the Champaign County Sheriff's website, he's charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, not aggravated. Add to that the unlawful use of a weapon. 

    (720 ILCS 5/24-1.5) 
    Sec. 24-1.5. Reckless discharge of a firearm. 
    (a) A person commits reckless discharge of a firearm by discharging a firearm in a reckless manner which endangers the bodily safety of an individual. 
    (b) If the conduct described in subsection (a) is committed by a passenger of a moving motor vehicle with the knowledge and consent of the driver of the motor vehicle the driver is accountable for such conduct. 
    (c) Reckless discharge of a firearm is a Class 4 felony. 
    (d) This Section does not apply to a peace officer while in the performance of his or her official duties. 
(Source: P.A. 88-217.)

Justsayit wrote on January 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Well, that makes more sense. Apparently the police department made the arrest on the wrong charge or stated it wrong. Eitherway, it appears he was recklessly playing with the gun.

rsp wrote on January 14, 2013 at 5:01 pm

He was arraigned today. They added involuntary manslaughter.

friend2013 wrote on January 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm


Do you know this young girl that lost her life? Because I do. This girl wouldn't have lost her life if this known felon did not have possession of this gun. If you read the paper, it does say he was the one who shot her. Regardless of whose gun it is, this so called good kid should not have been handling any gun since it wasn't legal to do so. Another senseless death caused by a so called good kid with a mile long list of convictions.

ilpatriot wrote on January 12, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Please prosecute under Federal probation, no good time, 10 years.

Under Project Safe Neighborhoods, United States Attorneys are ready to bring cases involving illegal guns to federal court. Prosecution in federal court means that if you are caught using or possessing a gun illegally, you probably won't be entitled to bail - instead, you'll go straight to jail. And if you are convicted in a federal court, you'll serve your entire sentence in prison with no parole.

And the side benefit is Champaign County and state taxpayers don't have to foot the bill.

Dear President Obama, please enforce the gun laws we already have.

Justsayit wrote on January 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I don't I have to know Mr. Brown to know that he could not legally possess a firearm.  What do you think gun control is?  Brown has prior weapons violations, and was on probation, which also requires that he not possess a firearm, yet for some reason you think that additional laws would have finally been the ones he chooses to obey.  If Mr. Brown was doing so well, what did he need a gun for? Did he not have a choice to obtain it, load it, play with it?  There are no amount of laws that will control the lawless.

ilpatriot wrote on January 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Dear Carolyn, we already have gun control's called felons can't have guns.

"He is a good person who has been working very hard to get his life back on track".

Read any big city newspaper and thats what they all say.

welive wrote on January 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm

NO gun control law could of prevented this.any questions?

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Well, he could be prosecuted to the maximum extent under the existing laws.  New laws could prevent a FOID card holder from selling it to him if the gun's serial number was registered to the FOID card holder; and all gun sales went through a licensing facility.  Gun control laws are meaningless if the offenders are not prosecuted to the maximum extent.  If the prisons are too full, put locks on their thumbs.  This gun junk has to stop.