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Gun violence tally adds up in Bloomington-Normal: 6 deaths, 15 injured in 2021

Six people were killed and at least 15 others were injured in gun violence in Bloomington-Normal in 2021, according to police tallies and WGLT reporting.

That gun violence touched many corners of Bloomington-Normal in 2021. There were at least three shootings (including one that injured a pregnant teenager) in the same block of Hershey Road on Bloomington’s east side, near an elementary school. There was a fatal shooting at an apartment complex in north Normal. A woman was shot and killed along a row of bars in downtown Bloomington.

Overall, Bloomington-Normal recorded at least seven homicides in 2021, including six involving guns. That’s well above the norm and the most since 2018, when there were 11 homicides in Bloomington-Normal, all but two involving guns.

In Bloomington-Normal, there were at least 38 confirmed incidents of gunfire throughout 2021, according to official police tallies:

  • 31 shooting incidents in Bloomington, up from 27 in 2020. That includes at least three gun homicides and nine people injured in 2021.
  • Nine shooting incidents in Normal, the same as in 2020. There were three gun homicides and at least six people injured by gunfire in 2021.

Bloomington-Normal is not alone, and many other cities saw even worse increases in gun violence in 2021. Peoria saw a record 34 homicides, many involving guns. Gun violence in Champaign in 2021 injured or killed at least 73 people.

There were 20,726 gun deaths in 2021 (excluding suicides), according to The Trace, a nonprofit newsroom that tracks gun violence. That was a slight increase over the total in 2020 and a continuation of the trend of rising gun deaths that accelerated during the pandemic. Two-thirds of major U.S. cities saw an increase in homicides in 2021.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.