CHAMPAIGN -- People aren't standing by while gun violence continues in their community. Two shootings happened this week and it's only Wednesday. One was deadly. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine has the story.
The first shooting happened in the 2100-block of West White Street Monday. The second was Tuesday, in the 1500-block of Hedge Road.
26-year old Allen Redding was shot several times and died. Police say the
shootings aren't connected, but the community has seen enough.
Hundreds took to the streets as a symbol of peace. They're asking for an end to the violence before it goes any further. 15-year old Brittany Moore is hoping and praying for the shootings to stop.
"I hope people learn that violence is not the answer. It's scary to know that things like that are happening around where I live, so close to where my friends live," says Moore.
Instead of sitting on their hands, community leaders and concerned neighbors walked the streets hoping to send a very strong message. Patricia Avery and members of the NAACP led the charge.
"It's important to let those who may seek to do more harm to the community that it's not okay. It's not okay," says Avery.
They walked down Garden Hills Road and over to Hedge Road; the street where Redding was chased, shot and killed.
"I could have been around there and I could have gotten caught up in the cross-fire. It makes me want to get away from here," says Moore.
This is home and police want to make sure home is a safe place.
Police Chief Anthony Cobb says, “We understand that people are scared. I understand that people are afraid of a retaliation, but recognize this is our community we have to work together to keep it safe."
The group prayed, asking God for peace.
"We just want the community to know that we care. We care about the neighbors. We care about the young people. We care about the families. We care about the community," says Avery.
Peace of mind, peace in their hearts and peace in the streets.
Moore says, "It hurts to know that people are hurting each other like they're not other human beings."
"There has got to be a better way. There has got to be a better way," says Avery.
CHAMPAIGN -- Police are still searching for suspects who they believe killed an area man. 26-year old Allen Redding was shot several times on Hedge Court Tuesday evening. Now, people in the community are remembering Redding.
Residents will walk from Jericho Missionary Baptist Church through Garden Hills, calling for an end to the violence. It may not be easy because police say this is a bigger issue; that these shootings are gang-related.
Previously, police have been reluctant to use the word "gang." They say they're referring to small groups of men committing crimes, not large organized crime.
Police will not say whether Redding was affiliated with any gang, but he was chased through the neighborhood before being shot. Witnesses say a second person may have been shot, but so far, authorities have not been able to find him.
No arrests have been made, but police are searching for five black men involved in the shooting. There are descriptions for four of the men. One is 30-years old, 145 lbs.; 2 18-year olds, one is 5'10"; 37-year old, 5'6", 305 lbs. Officials think they're driving a newer, black, four-door car and silver SUV.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers. You can remain anonymous and may earn a cash reward.
Champaign County Crime Stoppers
(217) 373 - TIPS
Text: CCTip + info to CRIMES (274637)
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