CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — One man was killed and four other people were wounded in a pair of shootings early Sunday, including one that happened on the University of Illinois campus.
Police believe the two shootings in the eastern Illinois city of Champaign may be related. They say the first apparently stemmed from an argument shortly after midnight at an apartment party on Green Street, the commercial heart of the campus.
“Our preliminary investigation completely points to an argument taking place at the party and the argument spilled out into the street and that’s when a fight occurred,” Champaign police spokeswoman LaEisha Meaderds said, adding the reasons for the fight aren’t clear yet.
Shots were fired as the fight escalated, striking four people, she said.
One of those shot, 22-year-old George Korchev, was killed, Meaderds said. She said Korchev, who was from the Chicago suburb of Mundelein, wasn’t involved in the fight and wasn’t a University of Illinois student. He just happened to be walking by when the shots were fired. The other three were taken to a hospital for treatment of what police called non-critical gunshot wounds.
Less than half an hour later, police received a report of another shooting a few blocks west of campus. Officers found a victim, who was taken to a hospital and treated for a non-critical wound.
Police are searching for a suspect or suspects in the shootings and for the driver of a vehicle that struck someone who was running away from the gunfire at the first scene. That person’s injuries were minor.
It isn’t clear how many people were at the party because many ran when the gunfire began, Meaderds said. Police are hoping to find and speak to as many as possible.
Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen said in a statement Sunday that city and university police were working together to aggressively pursue all leads.