PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — Several shots rang out Saturday in Peoria County that left two dead from a trail of bullets.
Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said someone shot and killed 34-year-old Darmarquis Richardson on Madison Avenue.
“It’s been an extremely taxing weekend on my staff and more importantly on the families who’ve lost a loved one through the act of violence,” said Harwood.
Less than 8 hours later, another deadly shooting outside Laramie Liquors on the Southside of Peoria.
When police officers arrived, they found 21-year-old Mason Loy of Havana with multiple gunshot wounds in the parking lot, where he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Harwood said they’ve identified Peoria’s south side and east bluff area as the areas in the city with the most re-occurring violent crimes.
“We continue to spin our wheels. The police department is doing what they can, getting guns off the street, getting felons off the street, great. But it’s not getting to the root of the issue and the root of the issue is we have to continue to talk about literacy rates, truancy rates, fatherless homes, and mothers who are working but can’t take care of their kids because they’re at home and nobody is able to take care of the kids making sure they get to school,” said Harwood.
Harwood continued, “It’s incredible to me that we keep doing the same things over and over again and nothing is changing, because we’re not getting to the root of the issue,” said Harwood.
Terry Burnside runs the House of Hope and said he wants to see the violence that affects so many young people, come to an end.
“When we have less than one percent of our cities’ population driving ninety percent of the violence, we talk about relationships. We have to build relationships. Relationships are the new currency, so it’s impossible to address the problem or find any solutions without part of the problem at the table,” said Burnside.
Burnside was at the scene of the homicide at Laramie Liquors, where he helped calm down friends and families of Loy.