Gun Violence

Sam Dunklau / NPR Illinois

In the wake of two high profile mass shootings this month, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office is making gun violence prosecutions a priority. A leader of the Illinois House, meanwhile, said new gun legislation will be on the table during the next legislative session.

Peoria Police and city leaders are calling for anyone who knows anything about the murder of Jeremiah Ward Monday to come forward.

Police and members of the Peoria Community Against Violence (PCAV) group did an extensive canvas Tuesday of the West Ann neighborhood where the 4 year-old was shot.

Creative Commons

ELK GROVE VILLAGE - A U.S. Postal Service worker has been shot in suburban Chicago's Elk Grove Village.

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago police say hundreds of extra officers are being deployed to city neighborhoods where a burst of gun violence over the weekend left at least 11 people dead and around 70 wounded.

Last month, about a dozen people gathered in the basement of a church in Champaign, Ill., to learn how traumatic experiences affect the lives of children and young adults, and what they can do to mitigate its effects.

Karen Simms, a mental health counselor and trauma expert, led the presentation, which was part of a free 40-hour training called “Healing Solutions.”

His name was Devon McClyde, and he was 16 years old when he was caught in the crossfire of an argument while playing basketball one evening in a local park in Danville on June 8, 2016.

He died three days later – the victim of another gun crime in Central Illinois.


Metropolitan Nashville Police Department / Twitter

The Morton man accused of killing four people with an AR-15 rifle at a Tennessee Waffle House has been formally charged with four counts of criminal homicide and is being held on a $2 million bond. Court records say 29-year-old Travis Reinking was charged Monday.  He is due in court Wednesday. 

 Police say Reinking was wearing a green jacket and nothing else Sunday when he stormed the restaurant in southeast Nashville and opened fire with the military assault-style rifle, first in the parking lot and then inside. Police credited a quick-thinking customer who wrestled the gun away from preventing more bloodshed. 

Juvenile Arrested For Weekend Double Homicide

Apr 12, 2018
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Police have made an arrest in last weekend's shooting that killed two at a house party.  A 16-year-old was arrested without incident about 7:40 Wednesday night in the 2700 block of West Trewyn.

18 year-old Bradley University pre-med major Nasjay Murry from Chicago and 22-year-old Anthony Polnitz of Peoria were shot and killed about 1:40 Sunday morning at a crowded house party at the corner of Bradley and Western Avenues. Another female Bradley student was injured in that shooting.


A Bradley University student was one of the two people shot and killed early Sunday morning. It's one of two deadly shootings in Peoria separated by about 5 hours. The Peoria County coroner identified the Bradley student as 18 year-old pre-med major Nasjay Murry from Chicago.


She was shot at the same time 22 year-old Anthony Polnitz was shot and killed and another female Bradley student was injured. Polnitz lived at 6516 N. University Street.


Daniel Baker / Illinois Public Media

A student-organized town hall on gun violence brought out a crowd of more than 100 people to the Champaign Public Library Thursday. The event was hosted by students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and five area high schools.

Abby Weber urged the crowd to contact their lawmakers to pass stricter gun control measures at the state and local level. The U of I freshman says a single law won’t curb gun violence. She says it will take a bigger effort, and students won’t give up on the cause. 

Thomas Hawk / CC by 2.0 / Flickr

Chicago police say March ended as the 13th straight month to see a drop in gun violence.

In a news release, the police department says there were 29 homicides during the month - 10 fewer than were reported in March of last year.  And the department says there was a similar drop in the number of shooting incidents and shooting victims.

The department says that so far in 2018 there have been 108 homicides compared to 140 during the same three-month period last year.

Thousands of students at schools across Illinois participated in a national walkout to demand action on gun violence.

Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch (D-Hillside) / Facebook

Several gun-related proposals passed an Illinois House hearing Tuesday. Gun control supporters in attendance included members of the Chicago Police Department. They stood behind the so-called "Paul Bauer Act" drafted in memory of the Chicago police commander killed by a man wearing body armor. The measure would prohibit its use by most civilians.

Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media

  One week after a mass shooting at a south Florida high school that killed 17 people, Governor Bruce Rauner says he favors a bipartisan examination of ways to prevent such shootings in Illinois.

“We’ve got to find ways to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill”, said Rauner, during a visit Friday to Champaign, where he promoted his budget and tax-cut proposals at the Litania Sports Group, an athletic equipment company.

Northern Illinois University

A decade has passed since five Northern Illinois University students were killed by a gunman in a lecture hall. 

Every year on February 14th, the bell tower on NIU’s DeKalb campus tolls five times at 3:06 p.m. to remember the lives lost on that day in 2008. This year, a few more events in addition to the annual wreath-laying at the memorial outside of Cole Hall are planned to observe the tenth anniversary of the shooting. 

Few candidates for public office have been more personally affected by gun violence than Chris Kennedy.

16-year-old homicide victim identified

Oct 30, 2017

The Peoria County Coroner has released the name of the teenage boy who was shot and killed Sun.

A suburban Chicago mayor is the latest Democrat to announce a 2018 bid for Illinois attorney general.

An investigation shows that the Chicago Police Department has failed to closely monitor the way it handles officer overtime.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will send more federal prosecutors to Chicago to focus on ending gun violence in the city.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo


U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) was at the plate Wednesday, during an early morning batting practice of the Republican Congressional baseball team, when he heard a loud noise that he did not immediately recognize as a gunshot.

Davis says the noise sounded to him like a large piece of metal being dropped at a construction area, although they weren’t at a construction area, but at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia. The noise was followed by someone else on the field shouting, “Run, he’s got a gun!”

Kennedy Says Property Tax System Is Root Of Problems

May 30, 2017
Facebook/Kennedy of Illinois

Illinois governor candidate Chris Kennedy says the state’s property tax system is rigged to benefit the politically powerful.  But the Democrat is not naming names. Kennedy says the property tax system is at the root of problems like gun violence and education funding. 

Illinois House OKs Stricter Gun Crime Sentences

May 30, 2017
Seth Perlman / Associated Press



The Illinois House has endorsed tougher sentences for repeat gun offenders in an attempt to curb Chicago violence.

22-Year-Old Man Killed During Memorial Day Weekend

May 29, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

A 22-year-old Peoria man was shot and killed over the weekend.

Kemberly Groue / Creative Commons


Despite the political problems in Springfield, a bill to address Chicago’s gun violence is creating some strange alliances.

State legislators in Springfield are moving to address gun violence in Chicago.  The Illinois Senate today passed stricter gun laws long sought by the Chicago Police.  The legislation is meant to get judges to impose longer sentences on repeat gun offenders.

Chicago's top law enforcement officer says an Illinois Senate proposal to increase prison sentences for repeat gun offenders would help stanch the city's rampant gun violence.  The proposal would direct courts to toughen penalties for repeat gun offenders within existing sentencing limits of current law. Judges could still hand out lighter sentences. But they'd be required to explain the factors behind their decisions.

Victim, Suspects Identified in Tuesday Homicide

Mar 1, 2017
geralt / pixabay/Creative Commons

Details are emerging related to a homicide that took place during the early morning hours on Peoria’s South Side.

The County Coroner released the identity of the victim as 63-year-old Garrison R. Collins. He was the resident of a home on the the 1400 block of S. Stanley, where police found him in the basement, following the shooting Tues., just before 1:00am.

Coroner Jamie Harwood says a gunshot wound to the neck likely caused Collins to die immediately.

Michael Puente / Periscope

Some top law enforcement officials in Chicago are weighing in on what they would want the federal government to do to quell the violence.

At a forum prior to Trump’s speech, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he would welcome federal money for mental health programs and economic development. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says if funds are reduced for mental health programs, that would hurt efforts to stem the violence. In his speech to a joint session of Congress, President Trump said more than 4-thousand people were shot in Chicago last year.

Tony Webster / Flickr/Creative Commons

Peoria saw its first homicide of the new year Monday night.

The name of the deceased male has yet to be identified. The Peoria Police Department says officers responded to reports of a shooting near the 1800 block of North Sheridan Avenue. 

The PPD says when officers arrived around 8:00 pm, they found the male victim outside of a residence with an apparent gunshot wound.