Champaign shaken by two deadly shootings in less than a month

CHAMPAIGN—Champaign police continue to search for the man who shot and killed a 22-year-old in broad daylight Saturday, while the community wonders how this could happen again, within a month of another man being gunned down.

A bullet to the back killed Rakim Vineyard when he was shot down on the sidewalk of North 6th Street Saturday afternoon. As more details surrounding his death come to light, residents continue to light candles at the makeshift memorial where he was shot, to honor the second life lost to gun violence in Champaign in less than a month.

The first was 26-year-old Allen Redding, who was gunned down on Hedge Road in late June. So far two men have been arrested in connection with his death: brothers Paul and Devon Craig. Police are still looking for Micah Hopkins, a third suspect in Redding’s murder.

Meanwhile, investigators are also searching for the man who killed Vineyard Saturday, also injuring a teenage boy in the crossfire after a bullet penetrated the house he was in and struck him in the leg.

Two other homes in the neighborhood were also hit.

Twenty-one year old Chanell Pierce lives in one of the houses that was struck after moving to Champaign from Chicago, and after Saturday’s shooting, she says this is exactly what she was trying to get away from.

“You see what's going on up there and you want to bring it down here, where you stay, where you live, where you have to live your life, or you know, grow and become a better person,” said Pierce. “So it's making me think, ‘what do you guys want out of life, to constantly want to keep going in the same cycles?"

Since the shootings, Champaign Police have increased their presence in neighborhoods in the north and northwest sections of towns.

Residents on Hedge Road—which falls in Champaign’s northwest region—say they’ve seen more patrolling since Redding was shot last month. Yet, even so, they’ve seen less people out socializing in the neighborhood since his passing.

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