PEORIA Ill. — One man has life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning shooting that put two local Peoria schools on temporary lockdowns.
Amy Dotson, a Public Information Officer with the Peoria Police Department said at approximately 7:48 a.m. Thursday, officials received a call about two men involved in an altercation at the 3200 block of N Isabell Ave. Shots were fired moments later.
Dotson said a man was found in a backyard in the 3100 block of N Twelve Oaks with life-threatening injuries. The victim was taken to a local hospital. Officers saw a man running from the area.
St. Philomena Catholic School and Thomas Jefferson Primary School were placed on lockdown after the shooting. St. Philomena is located at 3216 N Emery Ave, while Thomas Jefferson is located at 918 W Florence Ave. Those lockdowns were lifted just after 8:30 a.m.
“It was surprising to have an event like this, but the great thing is that we do active assailant training and stuff like this so it was fluid the way the district responded to it,” Chief Demario Boone from Peoria Public Schools School Safety team said.
Boone said this was a soft lockdown because the shooting happened several blocks away from the schools.
“We just wanted to make sure that there was no threat to the children or the campus. We did like a soft lockdown where we left the kids in and everyone could move normally inside, but we just [made] sure that we have officers in that patrol the area,” Chief Boone said.
Parents who saw police around the schools that morning instantly became worried.
Hasheika Miller, a parent at Thomas Jefferson Primary, said she could not imagine her child being harmed after trusting that he would be safe at school.
“I [drop] him off to school thinking he’d be safe you know and if I get a call you know I’d be devastated,” Miller said.
She was grateful that the police protected students and staff from any possible threat.
However, parents were perplexed, stating that incidents like this never happen in the neighborhood.
Dotson said neighbors that may have seen anything unusual should call the PPD at (309) 673-4521. You can also share information with CrimeStoppers anonymously (309) 673-9000. Homeowners are encouraged to look at their home surveillance systems if they have them.