Champaign police seek help with gun incidents

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

MAY 22

7:45 p.m., shooting reported, 800 block of North State Street.

12:36 p.m., shooting reported, 1400 block of North McKinley Avenue

MAY 23

9:33 p.m., shooting reported, 300 block of West Eureka Street

MAY 24

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

MAY 25

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

MAY 26

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

MAY 27

12 a.m., shots heard, 2500 block of West Springfield

Here is a map of the incidents, provided by the Champaign police department.

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SaferStreets wrote on May 28, 2014 at 11:05 am

I'm glad to hear the Champaign police are calling in an FBI task force to come help.  These kinds of shootings have only increased and become more worrisome over the past few years.  I really hope the first bit of technical and enforcement help involves increased patrols in these neighborhoods and better investigation of crimes.  It's nice that our police are so focused on collecting fines for traffic tickets, underage drinking, and recreational drug use, but it's good to see them get outside assistance so that maybe these crimes can finally start being handled too.

billbtri5 wrote on May 28, 2014 at 11:05 am

 

law abiding citizens in Illinois have to have up to 3 separate background checks to carry a concealed weapon here...

concealed weapon, loaded weapon, illegal transportation, (no proper case), no FOID and on and on , these are mostly not charged, dropped, and dealt away..

continuing to give defendants a "pass" gives the idea that there is very little risk in carrying guns around Champaign/Urbana..