‘I couldn’t sleep last night,’ Chief Echevarria details recent violence in Peoria

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Police Department was busy Monday night as three shootings occurred within seven hours of each other, and the violence did not end there.

Tuesday, Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria and multiple city leaders held a press conference at the police station to update the public.

“I couldn’t sleep last night based on all the stuff that’s going on,” he said. “The violence displayed over the last 24 hours is unacceptable.”

Over the last 24 hours, 38 total rounds were fired in multiple shootings — one of which resulted in a homicide.

Echevarria said in the 2600 block of West Starr Street just after midnight, a shot spotter alerted to a shot fired. There was no damage, victim, or witnesses.

In the 600 block of East Fry Street, police observed unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. Previously, in the 1900 block of Knoxville Ave., an individual fled in a vehicle upon seeing officers and entered a business parking lot. The man then ran, but was apprehended on Fry Street. The man tossed a gun on the roof of a nearby residence, but it was recovered, and he was subsequently arrested.

At 6:05 p.m., a homicide was reported at Northeast Jefferson Street. Two rounds were fired and upon arrival, officers found a dead male inside the Shop and Save convenience store.

After reviewing the video, detectives discovered the suspect vehicle was a dark blue truck, which has since been located and multiple people are in custody. The investigation is ongoing, he said.

Nine rounds were reported in the 2300 block of West Ann Street at 9:21 p.m. A female victim, who suffered a life-threatening wound, was located. She is currently in critical condition, and that investigation is ongoing. More shots were fired, and police are investigating whether they are connected.

Minutes later, at 9:23 p.m. in the 2100 block of West Lincoln Avenue, four rounds were fired. Shortly after, a shot spotter reported two more rounds fired.

There was no damage, victims, or evidence.

Shortly after at 9:34 p.m., five more rounds were fired in the 2800 block of West Lincoln Avenue. Officers investigating the other scene heard the shots fired, and discovered a silver vehicle was reportedly seen driving toward Wiswall Street with someone shooting from the vehicle.

The vehicle was not located, but an individual drove up to the officers in the 2100 block of West Lincoln Avenue to report her vehicle had been struck by gunfire. There were no injuries.

In the 2200 block of Delaware Street, a report of aggravated discharge of a firearm was discovered.

In the 1500 block of Lydia Street was a report of an aggravated battery with a firearm, and a shot spotter reported three rounds and an additional three rounds fired in the 1400 block of South Livingston Street and a second shot spotter report of eight rounds fired in the 1500 block of Lydia Street.

On Lydia, officers found a gunshot victim who had a non-life-threatening injury and was able to speak with officers.

The area was searched and no other victims, damage, or injuries were found.

At 1:18 a.m. in the 3100 block of Reservoir Blvd, officers found a vehicle being driven by a suspect wanted for “several threatening incidents.” The suspect had previously fled from officers multiple times and again fled the scene when officers tried to stop him.

Once the vehicle stopped, the suspect ran on foot, armed with knives. He then began throwing knives at officers as he ran through a residential neighborhood. He was eventually arrested and taken into custody, where he will be charged in several recent events, the chief said.

“Enough is enough. Our number one priority is to keep our citizens safe in our great city,” Echevarria said.

Peoria Mayor Dr. Rita Ali said she echoed the chief’s sentiments and called for no more violence.

“I want you to know that this level of violence in our community will stop, and we will use all resources at our disposal to make sure it stops,” she said.

Ali asked for the public’s assistance in solving recent crimes by encouraging them to come forward with information.

“The people who are causing violence and taking lives need to be brought to justice and have consequences,” she said. “If you have to be angry about anything, be angry about the death and the senseless violence that has become part of our solution.”

Echevarria said the department need’s the public’s help to solve these crimes, because, “they know where the guns are coming from. People know where the ammunition is coming from, and they know who’s out here wanting to incite violence.”

Year to date, the Peoria Police Department has confiscated 266 guns from city streets, he said.

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