UPDATE: Man killed, 3 others injured in shooting in Champaign

UPDATE: Man killed, 3 others injured in shooting in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Police are seeking the public’s help in solving a shooting that killed one man and injured three others early Sunday in north Champaign.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said that Montrez Vonner, 34, of Champaign, died just before 2 a.m. at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, a victim of multiple gunshot wounds.

The fatal shooting is Champaign's second of 2018. Police continue to look for Cornelius Freeman, 39, of Carbondale, for the first-degree murder of Micheal White, 26, of Chicago. He was gunned down about 1 p.m. Wednesday near the corner of Bloomington Road and Sunset Drive.

The early morning shooting Sunday happened in the 700 block of North Hickory Street, near the intersection with Vine Street, said Champaign police detective Lt. Nate Rath.

The location is just south of the American Legion Post, a popular club located a block east of Neil Street.

Rath said police were sent there at 1:22 a.m. because multiple shots had been fired. He declined to say if police believe there was more than one shooter. He was not certain if Mr. Vonner was the intended target.

What they do know is that Mr. Vonner was killed and two women from Rantoul, ages 18 and 23, and a 23-year-old Champaign man were also shot. Their injuries were described as non-life-threatening. Rath had no update on their conditions.

"There was at least a small crowd out there. We need help. We're slowly churning things up. It would go quicker if people out there would start saying what they saw," Rath said.

"They were all out at the intersection of Hickory and Vine. One of the injured might have been in a vehicle," he said. 

Preliminary information is that people in the area heard a verbal argument just before the shots started flying.

Mr. Vonner's death comes on the heels of CU Fresh Start's latest "call-in" last week of identified violent offenders. It's the third attempt by program organizers to get certain young men to put guns down in exchange for receiving services to help them and hopefully, the community. Only five of 20 men from the previous call-ins are still working on self-improvement. 

Northrup has scheduled an autopsy for Monday afternoon in Urbana.

Anyone with information or who was in the area is asked to contact Champaign Police at 217-351-4545.

Callers who want to remain anonymous can also contact Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS, 373tips.com, or through a free app for smart phones called P3 Tips. Tipsters are always completely anonymous when contacting Crime Stoppers.

Cash rewards of up to $1,000 are paid for information leading to an arrest. Tipsters will never be asked their names and are given a secret code number to use when checking on a possible reward.



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