'They shot my house up'

'They shot my house up'

URBANA — Markey Surratt was snoozing as he enjoyed a cool breeze on his front stoop Friday night.

"I heard pop, pop, pop," said the 59-year-old Urbana resident, who also heard a young man yelling.

"He kept screaming. I went over to ask him to be quiet," Surratt said.

It was 11:40 p.m. when Surratt saw the young man lying in the road in front of his house at 1304 W. Beech St., a bicycle nearby.

Formerly employed as a paramedic, Surratt thought the teen might be having a seizure from hitting his head.

"He said, 'I think I been shot,'" Surratt said he quickly did a medical assessment then ran back to his house to call 911 from his cellphone as other people arrived.

Blood stains remained on the street pavement Saturday morning where the youth was stabilized for a gunshot wound to his back before being taken to Carle Foundation Hospital.

Urbana police Lt. Rich Surles said the teen was riding on the handlebars of a bicycle that another young man was pedaling when the shots were fired.

Police and Surratt believe that there was more than one shooter and that they were waiting for the youth as he and his friend headed from east to west.

"People don't typically just get randomly shot," said Surles, who added that the teen was able to give police a brief statement. He was in critical condition Saturday.

Surratt pointed out for The News-Gazette that the shots came from behind a van in a driveway at a house directly south of his and just west of the intersection with Mathews Avenue.

He's not sure what happened to the youth who was pedaling. He believed there were four young men together.

"My only concern was him. He said, 'Please help me.' He was cold and numb. I said, 'We got you'," Surratt recalled Saturday morning, some nine hours after the shooting.

Surratt hadn't slept yet and his anger was starting to set in at the shooters for a number of reasons.

"They shot my house up," he said, pointing out four places where bullets pierced his ranch home — two through the garage door, one through his living room window and another through the wall next to the front door.

The shot that went through the living room picture window put a hole in his curtains and continued on, piercing the wall between the living room and kitchen.

The shot that entered near the door went through the wall and into his well-used backgammon game, breaking up the board and some pieces.

Urbana police officer Sarah Links found that slug inside the folded backgammon board, Surratt said. She was the one who found where the other shots pierced the house.

"She was professional," he said of Links, complimenting her and her colleagues who he said combed the neighborhood thoroughly for about 90 minutes Friday night and early Saturday.

He was watching them work when he became aware that police were called about 12:42 a.m. Saturday to another shooting in southeast Urbana that claimed the life of a Champaign man.

Surratt cares for his 78-year-old uncle, who had just gone to bed when the shots were fired at their house. "He was traumatized," he said.

His mother and sister live in the same block.

"We keep it pretty good over here," Surratt said as he greeted curious neighbors emerging on their porches Saturday morning. "For the most part we have cleaned this block up."

"When the bullets hit my house, I thought, 'What did I do wrong? It coulda been me.' "

"We got babies here," he said of other homes on the block. "How do they get these guns? It's not a video game. This is for real. It makes me mad."

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