CHAMPAIGN – Champaign reported a record 100 incidents of gun violence last year. This year is only half over and the city says there has already been 95 incidents.
On Tuesday, city leaders said most of the shootings are between people who know each other. Anthony Cobb is the police chief.
“Gun violence does not have to be inevitable,” said Cobb. “By working together, we can make it preventable.”
Tracy Parsons is a community coalition facilitator. He says the surge in shootings is due to a lack of jobs and a loss of hope.
“Folks are solving their conflicts with guns versus talking it through versus having the skills and the intent to diffuse these incidents through other means,” said Parsons. “The alarm is sounded that we have too many individuals that life doesn’t matter to.”
Mayor Deb Feinen urged residents to report suspicious criminal activity to police; report active and escalating situations to 9-1-1; and she urged witnesses to crime to come forward. She said witnesses can stay anonymous by reporting to Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217.373.TIPS (8477).