Investigation into New Year’s Day shooting continues

URBANA, Ill. – Champaign County law enforcement agencies continue to investigate the circumstances around a Jan. 1 shooting in the parking lot of a Savoy, Ill., apartment complex that left two men wounded.

Investigators with the Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Investigative Team are awaiting results from an Illinois State Police lab, which is conducting further analysis on evidence recovered from the scene. A number of witnesses have already been interviewed, and investigators from several agencies continue to conduct interviews and follow-up interviews.

It is estimated that about 80 people were in the parking lot of an apartment complex at 100 Village Park Way, Savoy, when police officers first arrived on scene. What led to the dispute in the parking lot is still unclear. There were at least two points during the night where shots had been fired — the exchange after officers had arrived, and roughly 12 minutes prior when 911 calls were first placed.

“Our officers came upon this situation as it was developing,” said U. of I. Police Chief Jeff Christensen. “The officers walked into what had already become a very dangerous situation, and which turned out to be an active threat.”

Moments after they arrived and while they were approaching the scene, U. of I. Police officers witnessed an Urbana man, 19, firing toward a large group of people. As he attempted to get in a car and leave the scene, U. of I. Police officers returned fire. The vehicle only traveled a few yards before striking a fire hydrant and coming to a stop. The man was arrested for aggravated discharge of a firearm and is being held on $750,000 bond at the Champaign County Jail. No other arrests have been made at this time.

“These things often overflow to other locations,” Christensen said. “It’s very fortunate that our officers were able to put an end to this exchange at the scene and before anyone was killed.”

The Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Investigative Team has been assembled, as is protocol in cases involving a significant use of force by a police officer. The team includes investigators from the Illinois State Police and other local agencies to ensure a thorough and transparent review. As it does in any case where use of force is required by a police officer, U. of I. Police will look at all of the details through its use of force review process to ensure the police officers acted in accordance with their training, department policy and the law.

More information will be released to the public when possible. Police officials are being very thorough in their investigation with criminal proceedings likely to proceed against the Urbana man.

Investigators are also asking for the public’s help, which could be crucial in piecing together how the incident unfolded. Anyone who knows more about what happened is asked to contact the Illinois State Police Zone 5 investigation office at 217-278-5000 or Champaign County Crimestoppers at 217-373-TIPS.