UPDATE: No link between shooting, recent gang-related incidents

UPDATE: No link between shooting, recent gang-related incidents

3:15 p.m.

Police on Monday afternoon said they had yet to discover a link between Sunday's fatal shooting and recent gang-related incidents that have plagued C-U.

On Twitter, Champaign police said "UPDATE: At this time, there is no available info to suggest Sunday's homicide is connected to recent gang-related gun violence. We are investigating leads and possible motives, but do not believe this was a random shooting. Public support still requested."

9:15 a.m.

Champaign County coroner Duane Northrup this morning identified the man who was shot to death early Sunday as Arnold F. Hopkins, 35, of Champaign.

He was pronounced dead at his home in the 2600 block of Lawndale at 5:15 a.m. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

The death remains under investigation.

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CHAMPAIGN — Residents of a west Champaign neighborhood where a 35-year-old man was fatally shot Sunday morning expressed a mix of concern and frustration.

Police Lt. Nathan Rath said the victim suffered a fatal gunshot wound inside a home in the 2600 block of Lawndale Drive. Crime scene investigators spent Sunday morning processing evidence from the scene, and Rath said officers were still investigating the shooting.

On Sunday afternoon, Ron Chubb was repairing his garage door just down the street from where the incident took place.

“I’m surprised somebody got shot. This neighborhood is pretty safe most of the time,” Chubb said. “We have only lived here since April, and it has been pretty quiet. I hope they don’t shoot me.”

The victim had not yet been identified by officials but neighbor Brad Kieft knew him as “a super nice guy” who “loved his children; he loved everything. 

“There have been so many shootings here in Champaign, so we moved to Mahomet to get out of this mess,” Kieft said. “I am just keeping up the property until we put it up for sale.”

Other neighbors had similar thoughts after waking up to the news Sunday.

“I’m starting to think the gangs are running this town — certainly not the police,” David Oelrich said. “I don’t feel safe here any more.”

“I watched the police squad car lights from a distance,” added Nancy Jamison. “It makes me wonder whether I still want to live in Champaign.”

Champaign police are asking anybody with information about Sunday’s shooting to contact their investigations division at 217-351-4545.

Police said they’d also like to hear from residents with home security cameras in the following areas: between Kirby and Springfield avenues, between Duncan and Kenwood roads, and near Centennial and Sangamon drives.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may also submit tips to Champaign County Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or via the “P3 Tips” mobile app.

Sunday’s shooting took place four days after Champaign’s police chief expressed concern over what he called “significant rise in gang-related gun violence.”

“None of this is random,” Anthony Cobb said Wednesday, the day after shots were fired at the Oakwood Trace Townhomes in the 1000 block of North Third Street around 9:30 p.m., leading to the arrests of William Laws, 19, of Champaign and James Borden, 30, of Urbana.

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