Gun Violence | WGLT

Gun Violence

Police and prosecutors in McLean County Board room
Eric Stock / WGLT

McLean County prosecutors call it an unprecedented time in their office.

Sydney Mays
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

A judge found Sydney Mays guilty Wednesday of fatally wounding three men and critically injuring a child during a 2018 shooting in Bloomington.

six guns
Normal Police Deptartment

Authorities in Bloomington-Normal say the number of gun seizures rose significantly in 2020 with police seizing a total of 94 firearms. That's a third more than the 61 seized in in the two communities in 2019.

Sydney walks in
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

UPDATED 5:40 p.m. | “A lottery by robbery” was behind a 2018 shooting that killed three men and left a 4-year old boy paralyzed, a prosecutor said in closing remarks Monday in the triple homicide trial of Sydney Mays.

Michael Bakana
Bloomington Police

UPDATED 3:10 p.m. | One woman was killed and another injured in a shooting early Saturday in downtown Bloomington, police said. A suspect is in custody.

The number of shootings in Bloomington-Normal is steady compared to previous years, but law enforcement is concerned about the increasing intensity of gun violence among young people.

Illegal guns seized
Bloomington Police

McLean County law enforcement agencies reported an average amount of gun violence in 2020. That’s a significant deviation from the national picture and the numbers in some other central Illinois communities.

Hammet Brown
Bloomington Police Department

Evidence that one of two victims of a June 2018 homicide was a gang member should be presented to the McLean County jury that will consider murder charges against the alleged assailant, according to arguments made in court Wednesday by the defendant’s lawyer.

Three people are dead after a shooting Saturday night at Don Carter Lanes in Rockford. Police Chief Daniel O'Shea confirmed there is a suspect in custody.

The Winnebago County Coroner's Office identified the three victims as:

  • Thomas Furseth, 65, of Machesney Park
  • Jerome Woodfork, 69, of Rockford
  • Dennis Steinhoff, 73, of Rockford.

Winnebago County Coroner William Hintz said all three victims died from gunshot wounds.

police tape
WGLT file photo

A 23-year-old man told police he was shot Wednesday night in a road rage incident in far west Bloomington.

Three suspects
Jail Booking Photos

Two men accused in a 2019 murder in Bloomington will be tried together in February, a judge ruled on Thursday. 

(left to right, clockwise) Darron Cummings, Lawrence Jackson, Jae C. Hong, Chris Pizzello (Invision) / AP

The Black community has suffered many losses in the past year.

With the deaths of role models like Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman, historical figures like Elijah Cummings and John Lewis, in addition to those at the hands of police, the effects from such events on mental health have come into focus.

People testify
Capitol News Illinois

Despite a temporary rule that extends the expiration dates for Firearm Owners Identification cards and concealed carry permits, many Illinois gun owners are still finding it difficult to buy weapons and ammunition.

police line do not cross
WGLT file photo

Bloomington Police are investigating three shooting incidents late Wednesday and early Thursday within a few blocks of each other. One person was injured.

Tyjuan Bruce
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

Prosecutors on Tuesday won their second murder conviction stemming from a botched 2018 drug robbery on Bloomington’s west side.

Three suspects
Jail Booking Photos

In his testimony Wednesday in the Scotty Allen murder trial, Kajuan Hobson denied telling police he believed his brother was killed in retaliation for another murder.

Chris Harrison
David Proeber / The Pantagraph (Pool)

Before they went to Christopher Harrison’s home to steal guns, drugs and money, Joseph Gardner and Reggie Hart Jr. made a plan to take what they wanted, according to a detective’s testimony Thursday at Harrison’s murder trial.

police line do not cross
WGLT file photo

Bloomington Police are investigating a shooting that injured one man Tuesday night on the city's west side.

police line do not cross
WGLT file photo

A 37-year-old man was critically wounded by gunfire during an argument early Wednesday in Bloomington, police said.

Karen speaks
Jeff Smudde / WGLT

A local group focused on responsible gun ownership and stopping gun violence is getting creative to spread its message in the face of COVID-19 and demonstrations over racial injustice.

Dan Donath speaks
Joe Deacon / WGLT

Crime went down slightly in Bloomington last year, but shootings remain a big issue for the police department.

police tape

Bloomington Police said they are investigating an incident in which a 17-year-old boy was shot in the forearm on Saturday.

Andrew Held
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

When gunfire erupts in Bloomington-Normal, odds are good that Andrew Held will receive a call to help with the aftermath.

Shots fired map
Google Maps

Two people were killed and 12 were injured by gunfire in Bloomington-Normal in 2019, as the number of shootings climbed to 50 for the year.

Garrett Riley Ahlfield
McLean County Sheriff's Department

An 18-year-old faces weapons charges related to Tuesday's fatal shooting in Normal, though police say the killer remains at large.

John Milhiser and Adam Ghrist
Eric Stock / WGLT

The top federal prosecutor for central Illinois says a new anti-gun violence initiative will improve coordination between law enforcement agencies and keep more illegal weapons off the streets.

Rodney Davis speaks
Ryan Denham / WGLT

A national gun violence prevention group is praising U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis for his support of a new bill that would incentivize sales of safe storage devices through tax credits.

The McLean County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council will expand its focus to include youth at risk for criminal activity and those who have been involved in violence, Judge Mark Fellheimer told the council Friday.

We Can End Gun Violence sign at a rally
John Minchillo / AP

With the public clamoring for action to reduce gun violence, Congress may soon create a federal grant program that would offer incentives for states to pass so-called “red flag” laws. Those make it easier to take firearms away from unstable people.

Jeff Geringer at Bent Elementary
Eric Stock / WGLT

Kayley Henderson had her first lesson in school safety long before she became a fourth-grade teacher at Bent Elementary in Bloomington. She was a senior at Normal Community High School in 2012 when another student brought a loaded gun into a classroom.