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Rash of Gun Violence
CHAMPAIGN-- 2013 is starting out much the way 2012 ended for the Garden Hills neighborhood. On Sunday four separate instances of gunfire were reported to police, three of them alone on Holly Hill Street. On December 31st Emily Davis was shot and killed in a murder-suicide incident.
Champaign city councilman Tom Bruno said, "It's a very serious concern for the city and we're trying everything at our disposal, reasonably, to try to get a handle on increasing violence not only in Garden Hills but all over the city."
On Sunday shots were fired into two homes in the neighborhood, one grazing a 23 year old man, and several residents reported hearing shots at another unknown location. Additionally another home was fired into on Bellefontaine Street, two miles away.
Police have no suspects at this time, and are relying on residents to help with the investigations.
David Griffet, a detective sergeant with the Champaign police department, said, "I think there are clearly people who live in the Garden Hills neighborhood that are clearly helping to try and make it a better neighborhood. However sometimes when these events occur, some of the people that are trying to make a difference in their neighborhood, they may not be awake, they may not be there, they can't be there all the time."
Garden Hills Elementary School is situated just blocks from the majority of these recent shootings. Bruno says that so far no students have been targeted, but he is not expecting the gun violence issue to be solved anytime soon.
"It's destructive to families, it makes people feel unsafe in their neighborhoods. These are gang members and drug workers who are preying upon each other. The motivation is probably drugs and money."
Anyone with information on these shootings is encouraged to call police at 351-4545 or 373-8477 to leave an anonymous tip.