UPDATE (6:20 p.m. Friday) — Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said an autopsy Friday indicated Damar Watts was shot several times and likely died instantly. No further information is being released at this time, he said.

Watts,19, of Peoria, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting that occurred on South Helen Street at 10:04 a.m. Thursday. His death was the city’s 18th homicide of the year

The police were called to the 800 block of South Helen Street for a male who had been found shot inside the residence. Harwood’s office pronounced Watts dead at 10:55 a.m. after an immediate examination and determined that he was beyond help.


PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A man is dead after a shooting near Helen and Ann Streets on Thursday.

According to Peoria police, the incident occurred at approximately 10:20 a.m.

Large groups of people gathered in the street. One woman was seen kicking a car in anger. Others were shouting in outrage. Still others stood outside the police crime scene tape, watching.

Several agencies on the local, state, and federal level were in the area to help with the incident including the coroner’s office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The homicide, which appears to be the city’s 17th of the year, comes after a wave of gun violence that has rocked Peoria. Five people were shot late Wednesday night in South Peoria and then about 12 hours later, two more were shot about a block away.

Peoria has seen six homicides this month with four due to gun violence. A seventh occurred at a liquor store just outside the city limits. Shootings or shots fired calls have come at a nearly daily rate.

No suspect information is available at this time.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.