UPDATED: Champaign man arrested in fatal downtown shooting

UPDATED: Champaign man arrested in fatal downtown shooting

UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.:

CHAMPAIGN — A 28-year-old Champaign man has been charged with murder in a fatal shooting early Sunday morning in a downtown Champaign parking lot.

Champaign police Lt. Dave Shaffer said police arrested David Denson, whose last known address was in the 300 block of South Country Fair Drive, on charges of murder in the death of Terry Moore Jr., 30, of Champaign.

Mr. Moore was fatally shot in the municipal parking lot in the 300 block of North Walnut Street, just south of Washington Street, about 4 a.m.

After the shooting, Denson took off in a vehicle, Shaffer said. While not revealing many details, Shaffer said police gathered enough information by mid-afternoon Sunday to seek a warrant for Denson's arrest. Judge Brett Olmstead set bond at $1.5 million.

Shaffer said police found Denson in a car at 4:24 p.m. outside the Rainbow View Apartments in the 1000 block of South Smith Road in Urbana and arrested him without any resistance.

Denson had pleaded guilty Aug. 10 to unlawful use of weapons by a felon and driving under revocation and was sentenced to three years in prison. Judge Heidi Ladd allowed him to remain free until Sept. 13, when he was to turn himself in to begin serving his sentence.

Shaffer said there were "numerous" people who witnessed the shooting and said that Mr. Moore was the intended target.

Shaffer said police are still trying to locate and interview witnesses.

Denson is expected to make an initial court appearance Monday.

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Original story, 12:30 p.m.:

CHAMPAIGN — A 30-year-old man was shot and killed after an early-morning skirmish in a downtown parking lot.

Champaign police Lt. Dave Shaffer said preliminary investigation suggests that the victim was the target.

At 3:59 a.m. Sunday, police responded to multiple reports of shots fired at a city parking lot in the 300 block of North Walnut Street. There they found the man — later identified as Terry Moore Jr. of Champaign — suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound.

"There was some type of fight that immediately preceded this," said Shaffer, adding that police know there were witnesses and "are trying to find some."

"There was a mixed crowd in terms of how many people were present," he said.

Shaffer discounted any suggestion that the killing may have been gang-related.

"I would suspect alcohol played a role," he said, adding he did not know if the victim or his friends had been patrons of any downtown bars.

Mr. Moore was pronounced dead at 4:36 a.m. at Carle Foundation Hospital, Champaign County coroner Duane Northrup said. He died from a gunshot wound to the chest, the report said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

The parking lot where the shooting occurred, along with The News-Gazette's parking lots immediately to the south of it, are popular gathering spots on weekends for patrons of the food trucks that park near the intersection of Main and Walnut streets on Friday and Saturday nights. 

Police are aware of that and have stepped up their presence, especially in the wake of an early morning incident on Saturday, June 24, in which a man allegedly fired a gun into the air on North Walnut Street near Taylor Street as scores of bar patrons were outside. No one was hurt.

Malcolm Comer, 42, of Champaign was quickly arrested and charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of weapons. He is due back in court in September.

A police report said officers provided medical aid before the victim was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital, where he died a short time later.

Police remained at the parking lot throughout the morning picking up evidence. Anyone who has information regarding the shooting is urged to contact the  Investigations Division at 217-351-4545.

Anonymous tips may also be submitted to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.

The shooting is the third homicide of 2017 for Champaign police.

On June 2, Darien Carter, 24, was killed as he rode his bicycle on Eureka Street between Fifth and Sixth streets. Marquise Burnett, 21, of Champaign, has been charged with his murder and is due back in court Sept. 12.

On Aug. 3, Gus Edwards, 53, of Champaign, was fatally shot on a sidewalk near the intersection of Beardsley Avenue and Elm Street. Police continue to actively investigate but no one has been charged with his killing.

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