UPDATE: Gunfire from 1 car hits another, leaving woman in critical condition

UPDATE: Gunfire from 1 car hits another, leaving woman in critical condition

CHAMPAIGN — An early-morning shooting Sunday — from one speeding car into another — left a 25-year-old woman with life-threatening injuries and residents of a north Champaign neighborhood frightened and frustrated.

"For somebody to open fire on another car seems particularly violent to me. If the Champaign police can't protect us, maybe it is time to start thinking about bringing in the National Guard," Champaign's George Swain said Sunday afternoon while walking his dog on North Hickory Street.

Nearby, police say, the woman struck was among several passengers in a car that had left the American Legion Hall (704 Hickory Street) just before 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

"As the vehicle traveled northbound on Hickory Street, a second vehicle pulled alongside and opened fire into the victim's vehicle, striking the female victim," said Champaign police Lt. Nathan Rath.

As of Sunday evening, police hadn't made any arrests in connection with the shooting. The female passenger was in critical condition, police said.

"I am praying for her and her family," said Aliyah Lee, who lives in a neighborhood that has made headlines for a rash of shootings this year. "All this gang violence with guns needs to stop."

Two of Champaign's 11 fatal shootings this year happened in the 700 block of North Hickory:

— On Aug. 23, Darin Mitchell, 48, was shot and killed outside the American Legion. Shoen Russell, of Champaign, was arrested for the shooting of Mr. Mitchell and charged last month with four counts of first-degree murder.

— On March 11, Montrez Vonner was shot and killed in the same block, near the intersection of North Hickory and Vine streets. No arrests have been made in connection with Mr. Vonner's murder.

North Hickory area residents have had enough, said Phoebe Brown, echoing a sentiment expressed Sunday by other neighbors.

"It is really getting kinda bad in my neighborhood," Brown said. "We need to get these guns off the street."

"I try to stay off the streets around here after dark," added Emily Kemp. "Nothing good happens after midnight in this part of Champaign."

Police crime scene investigators spent Sunday morning processing evidence from the scene of the shooting.

Rath said authorities were working to identify the circumstances that led up to the shooting and asked for the public's help.

Police said arrangements can be made for any information to be shared privately with them.

Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous may submit tips to Champaign County Crime Stoppers by calling 217-373-8477 (TIPS), visiting 373tips.com online or using the "P3 Tips" mobile app. Caller ID tracking is not used by Crime Stoppers, and conversations are not recorded.

Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for Sunday's shooting.

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