Community mourns death of 4-year-old shooting victim

Local News

PEORIA, Ill., The community gathered for a vigil Tuesday in memory of 4-year-old Jeremiah Ward who was shot and killed the evening of May 13. 

Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion III said at approximately 5:42 p.m., police responded to a ShotSpotter alert of 22 rounds fired, with 19 shell casings found. Upon arrival, police found two victims at the Lincoln Terrace Apartments, 2825 W. Ann St. 

One of the victims, 4-year-old Jeremiah Ward, suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to an area hospital. He was pronounced dead just after 6:30 p.m., Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said. 

No mother wants to bury her child. Ward’s mother cried the entire vigil and was consoled by several members of the community. 

Now, all the family wants is to find the person who took Ward’s life. 

“Yesterday was one of the saddest days in history,” Peoria City Councilwoman Rita Ali said. 

Chief Marion was asked why he thought people were withholding information. 

“Why they are? I don’t know. I wish I could answer that.” Marion said. “When you have a four-year-old injured and dead why anyone would withhold information? I have no idea.” 

Ward’s loved ones are calling for an end to the violence. 

“How can you sit there and look at yourself in the mirror knowing you done killed a baby, you killed a baby,” said one person who attended the vigil. 

Ali urges the community to be strong and come forward with any information they have. 

“To the person that’s responsible…your soul is never going to be at peace until you take responsibility for Jeremiah’s death,” Ali said. 

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