Peoria Police cracking down on gun violence, 31 shooting incidents in 5 months

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Broken glass, candles, and deflated balloons are all that remain of what neighbors said was a vigil for a victim of gun violence, which was interrupted by more gunfire.

It led to another death and more injuries.

From the store to the streets, Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion said the guns used in Peoria’s recent shootings were legally sold at some point before ending up in the hands of criminals.

“Well what we are seeing is a lot of burglaries that have been conducted at gun shops and the guns end up back here in Peoria and make it out here on the streets,” Marion said.

In the last nine days, bullets were heard flying through neighborhoods across the city, taking two lives and injuring four. Police have been actively searching for the trigger pullers, while simultaneously searching for criminals with illegal weapons before it leads to bloodshed.

“We have stepped up patrols in areas where we had some of the recent violence[…] “We want to take as many firearms off the streets that are being used illegally as possible.”

Loren Marion, Peoria Police Chief

Police said tracking illegal guns and criminals are not easy tasks. As of May 19, police said since the start of the year Peoria has had 31 shooting incidents with 34 victims. Marion said 120 guns have been seized.

A neighbor, who wished to keep her identity concealed lives near Pierson Hill Apartment complex. She said the senseless killing needs to stop.

“That’s the big problem. How do we get the guns off the street and get them out of the hands of people who should not have them,” she said.

Peoria Neighbor

The neighbor also said it will take more than law enforcement to stop the violence.

“The problem is not with the police. It’s with the people that have guns and actually using the guns,” she said.

In an increasingly violent city, tracking down lawbreakers can’t be done alone. People are pointing to their neighbors to help by breaking the silence to stop the violence.

“I’d like to see more cooperation from the neighborhood as far as the incidents that happened there with the shootings,” she said.

Marion said on May 19 they confiscated five weapons with two of those being AR 15 style weapons.

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