Escalation of shooting violence concerns residents

Five shooting incidents have occurred since last Monday, four of which have occurred since early Saturday morning.

The latest occurred around 3:14 a.m. Sunday at the corner of Green and Fourth streets in Champaign where officers responded to shots fired called. An Illini-Alert was issued shortly after. Officers spoke with witnesses who said they heard multiple gunshots in the area. 

Police were able to locate the vehicle that witnesses described along with the suspect, Harvey Blakely, and driver, Michael Gladney. 

Blakely, 27, of Champaign, was arrested on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated discharge of a firearm. He is currently in the Champaign County Jail on a bond of $1 million. Gladney, 32, of Champaign, was arrested on charges of disobeying a stop sign and fleeing and eluding. 

Champaign Police detectives are also currently interviewing witnesses in an attempt to locate the suspect responsible for a crime that occurred Saturday evening. 

At 6:44 p.m., officers responded to the 2400 block of North Neil Street after hearing shots fired. While the incident was being investigated, a gunshot victim was checked in at the emergency room at Carle Foundation Hospital.

Preliminary information shows that a female ran to a car when a handgun was pointed at her. During the altercation, the driver was shot. 

Two shootings also happened early Saturday morning, one occurring at Queensway and Campbell Drive around 2:47 a.m., and the other occurring at 3:42 a.m. in the 1700 block of West John Street, both in Champaign.

The incident that occurred at Queensway and Campbell involved a vehicle with four subjects driving around the area when a man came out of the bushes at the intersection and began to open fire at the cars with two guns. One passenger was shot and treated at Carle.

The shooter is described as a 6-foot black male, medium build with short hair. At the time of the incident, witnesses said he was wearing red or orange shorts and a white shirt, both bearing the same design.

Reports of the incident on John Street indicate that the victim was shot in the leg by an unknown offender and was treated at Carle. Officers responded to the victim’s apartment after he had requested an ambulance.

The shooter was initially described as a black male with a white shirt, but the victim later reported that three black males had approached and engaged in an argument with him.

Champaign Police are also searching for a man who they say fired shots at another man at Monday’s shooting incident.

Rodell Williams is wanted for aggravated discharge of a firearm after a shooting incident around 4 a.m. in the 1000 block of Northwood Drive. According to the report, both men had a physical altercation before the shooting. Neither man was injured.

Police say Williams was last seen northbound on McKinley Avenue. He was wearing a white T-shirt and a red hat. A warrant for his arrest was issued a day after the shooting and bond is set at $1 million.

Police say these crimes do not appear to be related to a series of shooting incidents earlier this month.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is encouraged to contact Champaign Police by calling (217) 351-4545 or Crime Stoppers at 373-TIPS (8477).