Champaign & Urbana Police Join Forces to Solve Shootings

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA--A 21-year-old is recovering after being found shot in the face in an Urbana parking lot Wednesday night.

Now, two police departments are working together to find out whether a shooting that left behind more than 30 shell casings in Champaign could have led to his injuries.

Magnolia Cook was asleep inside her Hill Street home in Champaign when she heard the pops down the block around 10 PM Wednesday night.

"I'm like, 'oh somebody is lighting firecrackers this time of year?'" said Cook. "Not thinking it was a barrage of shots."

Half an hour later, James Thompson noticed commotion outside his Urbana apartment half a mile away.

"I just saw someone go into an apartment and it looked like the police were already there," said Thompson.

When officers arrived on the scene at the Hamilton on the Park apartments, they found 21-year-old Mark Washington of Urbana in the parking lot, shot in the face. He was able to give them some details about the shooting before he was transported to Carle Foundation Hospital for treatment.

"From what he told officers, he was shot about a block or so from where the apartments were at," said Detective Doug Pipkins with the Urbana Police Department. "And our understanding is that he somehow gotten there to have somebody call 911."

But investigators found no evidence that Washington was gunned down at either location.

Meanwhile, Champaign police collected 39 shell casings a few blocks west, where shots were fired earlier at Third and Hill Streets.

"At this point we don't know if they were related at all," said Pipkins. "If it was completely coincidental that there were shots fired just prior to this guy being found or if they're something separate."

Champaign and Urbana police are working together in their investigations. No arrests have been made. Anyone with information about either incident is asked to contact Champaign County CrimeStoppers.

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