PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A boy is in custody Wednesday afternoon in connection with two recent shootings near Manual High School, the city’s top cop said.
Police Chief Eric Echevarria said the 16-year-old was linked to a shooting Tuesday morning that struck a door at the high school as well as a Nov. 9 incident in the 2400 block of Ann Street, which is a few blocks from Manual High School, that left one person injured.
Officers raided the small home in the 1100 block of West Nebraska Avenue looking for a different boy, also 16, who had a warrant out for his arrest due to his noncompliance using an ankle monitoring bracelet.
While there, they found the alleged shooter. It wasn’t immediately clear if both teens were linked to the two shootings or what possible charges either were facing.
Echevarria said both were at the Peoria Police Department talking to detectives. He further said it was possible they could be taken later to the Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center.
While most of the details were not disclosed, he did say that both had lengthy criminal records.
When questioned about the violence in the city, Echevarria said it comes down to a “disregard for human life”.
“I wish I had a full answer as to what the exact issue is between these parties, but it’s a lack of knowing how to communicate, it’s a lack of many other issues possibly involving and surrounding these children,” Echevarria said.
The incident on Ann Street came on Nov. 9, as three student-age boys were walking to school. One, a 17-year-old, was struck in the leg. Police have said ShotSpotter gunfire detection system indicated that six rounds had been fired.
Then, on Tuesday morning, at approximately 11:03 a.m. there was a 12-round ShotSpotter alert near Proctor and Griswold Streets and a 10-round ShotSpotter alert near Ann and Griswold Streets.
Manual High School was put on a soft lockdown and no one inside the building was injured. The initial investigation shows that a 2003 Toyota Echo and a steel door to the school had been struck during the shooting, according to a report filed Wednesday at the Peoria Police Department.
The car was parked right in front of the school. Officers found brown paint chips on the ground near the door at the school but the bullet did not go through the steel door, the report said.
The report also said a Peoria Public Schools resource officer had heard the shots but didn’t see anyone firing them. Six shell casings were found in Ann Street.
Upon further review by detectives and officers, it’s believed the shooters were aimed at two people who were in front of the school. Those two were seen by a PPS school resource officer to hide behind the Toyota Echo and then run off when they thought the coast was clear.
Echevarria said the shootings were “targeted incidents” and he commended his department for working hard to ensure that the city is safe.
“We can’t tolerate that, and that’s why our detectives are here, and they continue to work hard, day and night, to follow up on these cases, even when we don’t have cooperation from the juveniles or from the victims,” he said.
This story will be updated.