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Police Search For Killer Of Champaign Teenager

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Flowers are taped to a utility pole by police tape near the place a 17-year-old Champaign student was shot on September 30, 2021.

CHAMPAIGN – Police in Champaign are still searching for the person who shot and killed a Centennial High School student.

On Friday, the city identified the victim as 17-year-old Jonathon McPhearson.

Officers said McPhearson was sitting along West Kirby Avenue on Thursday afternoon when multiple people in masks walked up and opened fire on him.

So far, no one has been arrested and the motive is not known.

At an afternoon news conference, Deputy Chief of Police Nate Rath asked people to come forward if they have any information.

“We know there are people in this community who are intentionally withholding information,” said Rath. “Reality is, that an individual who shoots carries the potential to pull the trigger again.”

This is the 12th murder in Champaign so far this year.

Anyone with information is advised to call the Crimestoppers hotline at 217-373-8477.

Earlier this week, police arrested a teenager for firing guns in a field north of Centennial High School.

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Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director for the Illinois Newsroom. He started at WILL in October of 2019 after serving as News Director for WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan. Previously, he was a news producer and manager at the NBC station in Dallas, where he won 7 Emmy awards. Born in Vietnam, Reginald is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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