Residents worry about violence in neighborhood

Published 08/15 2013 01:07PM

Updated 11/08 2013 04:56PM

CHAMPAIGN -- After another shooting, residents hope their neighborhood takes a turn for the better. It started as a traffic stop. About 2:00 am Wednesday, shots rang out at the corner of Sixth and Bradley. The driver is still in the hospital. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield has the latest.

The condition of the driver has not yet been released, but he is still alive. Police say they and the Illinois State Police are investigating the incident.

One homeowner says he's seen this happen in town too many times. It's a scene which has become all too familiar on Bradley Avenue.

Police cars and caution tape. Ronnie Brown saw it about 2 am and immediately thought, "another shooting." To his disappointment, he was right.

Police say an officer pulled a driver over for rolling through a stop sign. He smelled alcohol. When the driver pulled out a gun, there was a scuffle. The gun went off and the driver was hit.

"We will look at all aspects of this investigation and take appropriate adjustments if need be."

This is one of at least a dozen shootings in Champaign since March. There have been five on or near Bradley Avenue.

But, Ronnie Brown says people shouldn't be too quick to judge his neighborhood because violence is everywhere. Thirteen years ago, he was on the same streets as some of the shooters and victims.

"That wasn't the life for me. It wasn't worth it."

After spending three years in jail on drug charges, his life changed. He has a family, owns a home and his own business, working on cars.

"I paid my debt to society. I went to prison and I came back out and I decided to do something else with my life."

Proof that changes in the community have to come from within.

"I learned I had to change the way I thought before I could change my behavior. If I changed my behavior, I could change my lifestyle."

The officer was also hurt in the incident. Police wouldn't specify how, but he is out of the hospital.

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