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CHAMPAIGN — Local police are pooling resources to see if any of the weekend’s four shootings — three of them fatal — in Champaign and Urbana might be related.

The carnage began Friday night with the shooting death of Eric Kirk, 34, of Champaign, who died in a hail of gunfire in a parking lot at the Prairie Green apartment complex in the 2500 block of East Washington Street, Urbana.

Urbana police Lt. Dave Smysor said Mr. Kirk was obviously the target of the gunfire and that more than 60 casings of different calibers were found. Apartments and vehicles were also hit by gunfire, but no one else was injured.

Hours later, about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, a 16-year-old male was shot in the leg outside a home in the 1900 block of Southwood Drive, Champaign. He was expected to recover.

Late Saturday, just before midnight, Aaron Jamerson, 30, of Champaign, was also shot repeatedly in a parking lot just north of the post office on Neil Street, near Vine Street in Champaign.

He was taken by a private vehicle to Carle Foundation Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:28 a.m. Sunday, a victim of multiple gunshot wounds.

Then, about 4:40 p.m. Sunday, Urbana police were sent to the 1100 block of South Webber Street, where several people had heard shots. Officers found a 46-year-old man who had been shot in the back of the head but was still alive. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said the man, whom he identified as Issah Musah, died at 9:53 p.m. Monday.

Urbana Deputy Police Chief Rich Surles said investigators believe the man, who had gone to a friend’s house to let his dog out, was targeted by a single gunman who shot him in the front yard of the home. A silver four-door sedan was seen leaving the neighborhood right after the shooting.

“Urbana and Champaign police have been talking about what connections we do or don’t have at this point,” Surles said.

“We have been sharing information about various shootings. We are trying to determine if there are connections, between any, all or some of the shootings. Detectives and the Street Crimes Task Force are working together,” he said.

As of the weekend, there had been approximately 50 confirmed shootings in Champaign and 20 in Urbana so far this year.

The deaths of Mr. Kirk, Mr. Jamerson and Mr. Musah were the first homicides in Urbana and Champaign, respectively. Last year, Urbana had two homicides and Champaign had 10.

Police are asking that anyone who has information on any shooting, or who might have video surveillance that could help them, to please call Champaign police at 217-351-4545 or Urbana police at 217-384-2320.

Callers who want to remain anonymous and possibly collect a reward for their help should contact Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477, online at 373tips.com or through the “P3 Tips” mobile app.

Reporter

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

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