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CHAMPAIGN — Police are trying to determine if a man killed by gunfire in west Champaign early Sunday was the intended target of the shooter or shooters, but they are not getting as much cooperation as they’d like.

At 12:31 a.m., officers were sent to a reported shooting at the Country Brook Apartments in the 2500 block of West Springfield Avenue.

They found David E. Dalton Jr., 32, of Champaign with a life-threatening gunshot wound to his back.

He was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room about a half-hour later.

His is the sixth shooting death of 2021 in Champaign.

Police learned there was a crowd of about 100 people in the grassy area between two of the apartment buildings where Mr. Dalton was shot.

“We have received very little cooperation at this point,” investigations Lt. Geoff Coon said Tuesday, “particularly in light of the number of people that were present in the vicinity at the time of the shooting.”

Further, Coon said police are still not certain if Mr. Dalton was the intended target.

“But the suspects were clearly firing in his direction,” Coon said.

A second man, 27, also arrived at a hospital with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his left leg. No further information about him was released.

Police were told fireworks were being set off. However, they found nearly 40 bullet casings, as well as gunfire damage to two vehicles and a residential building.

Champaign police ask that anyone who has additional information to please contact them at 217-351-4545. Arrangements can be made for information to be shared privately.

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may also submit tips to Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477, or via the free “P3 Tips” mobile app.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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