PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Christopher Callen said he was sitting at home Friday night when gunfire erupted in his Pierson Hills apartment complex.
“It was hell,” Callen said. “It was terrifying.”
Amy Dotson, Peoria Police spokesperson, said the shots issues Friday night resulted in minor injuries for two adults and one juvenile as well as the death of one man.
Jamie Harwood, Peoria County Coroner, said 25-year-old Trashaun Shields was the man shot and killed Friday night.
One witness preferred to remain anonymous, but she said Shields will be deeply missed.
“He was a very sweet person and he didn’t deserve none of that,” the witness said. “Everybody loved him, so this is very sad and heartbreaking right now.”
Despite the shootout with police, based on the evidence, Harwood said a self-inflicted wound to the head cannot be ruled out.
“This is very distressing,” Callen said. “I’ve been out here for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Harwood said just before 10:00 p.m. Friday night, Peoria police officers responded to the 2000 block of N. Lehman Rd. regarding a report of over 20 shots fired.
“Multiple calls were received, some reporting hearing as many as 40 rounds fired and multiple vehicles driving at a high rate of speed in the area,” Harwood’s statement reads.
Upon arrival to the area of Lehman Rd, initial responding officers observed a white vehicle flee onto Lehman. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver fled at a high rate of speed, and eventually crashed into a fence in the area of Flint and Ardell. Two male occupants exited the vehicle and fled on foot. A foot pursuit ensued. While chasing one of the suspects, the suspect fired upon the officers. The officers returned fire. The male continued to run. Officers continued to chase the male and found him down in the 1900 blk of N Kansas. A gun was observed near the male suspect. Paramedics were summoned to the scene to provide emergency medical care. The male suspect was transported to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in critical condition.”Jamie Harwood | Peoria County Coroner
Dotson said Shields was one of the suspects who fled the scene in a white vehicle when police arrived. She said the vehicle soon crashed into a fence in the Area of Flint and Ardell when a foot-pursuit ensured.
“While chasing one of the suspects, the suspect fired upon officers the officers returned fire,” Dotson said.
“While undergoing aggressive treatment, his condition declined rapidly, and resuscitation was unsuccessful. The male, 25-year-old Trashaun Shields, of Peoria, was pronounced deceased at 12:23 am this morning,” Harwood said Saturday. “The Autopsy this morning on Shields demonstrated that he suffered two gun-shot-wounds; one soft-tissue wound was located on the lower right flank area; the second wound was in the head.”
Neighbors at the scene said the shooting took place during a vigil for Brien Metts, 22, who was shot and killed in the same area Wednesday night.
The Shields’ family wasn’t available for comment.
“I know that they’re heartbroken and that’s it,” one witness said.
Many neighbors in the area preferred not to comment about the incident out of fear, but Callen said speaking up helps promote peace.
“People have to talk, “Callen said. “That’s the only way we’re going to get these issues resolved, that have to speak.”
There was evidence taken from the scene that will be examined at the Illinois State Police Crime Lab. They will work to make a definitive determination of where the gunshot wound came from.
“Pursuant to Illinois State Statute, the case remains under investigation by the Illinois State Police and the Peoria County Coroner’s Office,” Harwood said.