Champaign police seek help with gun incidents
CHAMPAIGN — Citing 15 gun-related incidents in less than a week, Champaign police are seeking help from other police agencies and from the public — including asking residents, if they can safely do so, to record audio or video of shootings they witness.
Police have responded to five shootings, seven calls of shots being heard and three calls of armed subjects since May 22, according to a release from spokeswoman Rene Dunn.
Three people have been injured, though none of the injuries has been life-threatening, police said. Two of the three have walked into hospitals, one at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana and the second at Decatur Memorial Hospital.
To deal with the incidents, police are focusing on the areas where they've happened, including working additional hours for proactive details and to increase their visibility, Dunn said. During follow-up investigations, some witnesses and victims have provided limited information, she said.
The department has asked the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force for technical and enforcement help. The task force was formed in 1992 to combat gang- and drug-related crimes. And Champaign is seeking help from other police agencies, including Urbana, the University of Illinois and Champaign County sheriff's office, because some of those believed to be involved live outside Champaign.
Police also are communicating with community and grass-roots organizations for help with getting out anti-violence and gun-safety messages.
The city's release advises people in the immediate vicinity of a shooting incident to take cover and move to a safe area, then to call 911.
"If the situation allows for the incident to be safely audio or video recorded, please do so" and contact police or Crimestoppers, the city asks.
Photos can be uploaded anonymously to the Crimestoppers website at http://www.373tips.com, and tips can be left there as well as by phone, at 373-TIPS or via text message by sending CCTIP plus the information to CRIMES (274637).
Gun owners are being asked to disassemble, lock and store guns so they are inaccessible to children and other unauthorized users. Business owners and other authorized gun dealers also are asked to lock up their merchandise to avoid burglaries during non-business hours.
And as the Fourth of July approaches, the department is asking residents not to use illegal fireworks and any explosive devices that sound like gunfire.
A list of gun-related incidents in Champaign
7:45 p.m., shooting reported, 800 block of North State Street.
12:36 p.m., shooting reported, 1400 block of North McKinley Avenue
9:33 p.m., shooting reported, 300 block of West Eureka Street
2:05 a.m., shooting report, 200 block of North Neil Street
2:26 a.m., shots heard, 1000 block of North Hickory Street
10:44 p.m., shots heard, Washington Street at Third Street
2:56 a.m., armed subject, 1000 block of North Neil
10:33 a.m., armed subject, State and Vine
2:42 p.m., shots head, 200 block of Arcadia Drive
5:33 p.m., robbery, 2500 block of West Springfield Avenue
8:24 p.m., armed subject, 2200 block of North Prospect Avenue
1:43 a.m., robbery, 300 block of West Church Street (West Side Park)
6:23 a.m., shooting report, 1200 block of East Carver
12:34 p.m., shots heard, Neil and Arcadia
10:38 p.m., shots heard, 2000 block of North Mattis Avenue
11:23 p.m., shots heard, Willis Avenue and Northwood Street
12 a.m., shots heard, 2500 block of West Springfield
Here is a map of the incidents, provided by the Champaign police department.