CHAMPAIGN, Illinois – Shootings at or near the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a related hit-and-run incident early Sunday morning left at least five people wounded and one person dead, police said.
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.
In a statement, the city of Champaign said at least one suspect in the shooting is still at large, and the driver in the hit-and-run is still being sought.
Officials said Champaign police received calls about a shooting on Green Street at around 12:20 a.m., and discovered four gunshot victims when they arrived. They say a fifth person fleeing the gunfire was wounded after being hit by a car, which later fled.
A man identified as George Korchev later died of his wounds from that incident, according to the statement. Champaign police spokeswoman LaEisha Meaderds said Korchev, a 22-year-old 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.
At around 1 a.m., police said they received reports of a second shooting nearby. At the scene on S. State St., they discovered another gunshot victim with wounds described as not serious.
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.
The university sent out an alert early Sunday morning around 1 a.m. warning of a shooting on campus.
The City of Champaign tweeted early Sunday that there were two shooting incidents, and that a total of five people were wounded.
Officials say the shootings and the hit-and-run may all be related. A preliminary investigation indicates the dispute that led to the shootings began at a party and spilled outside, and that all of the victims were not involved in the dispute.
Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen said in a statement Sunday that city and university police were working together to aggressively pursue all leads.
Students and witnesses later took to social media to confirm a shooting had taken place, but details remain unconfirmed.