Police Seek Suspect In Campustown Shooting
Authorities are seeking 18-year-old Robbie M. Patton of Champaign in connection with the shooting on E. Green Street in the Campustown neighborhood, that left one person dead and three others injured.
Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the shooting incident, which they believe have been a reaction to an incident in which a male victim was beaten into unconsciousness.
Investigators say both the shooting and the beating were part of a larger altercation that started at an apartment party at 306 E. Green Street.
Champaign Police Lt. Dave Shaffer told reporters at a Wednesday morning news conference that the altercation moved from the apartment to an adjacent parking lot, where it attracted bystanders. Shaffer says the altercation, originally involving a group of females, expanded into a fight.
Over the course of a few minutes, it moved from the south end of the parking lot near the street to the north end, which is near a walkway that lies over the Boneyard Creek.
From there, Shaffer says number of gun shots were fired by an individual, striking four people, including 22-year-old George Korchev of Mundelein, who later died.
Champaign County State’s Attorney Julie Rietz says a warrant has been issued for Robbie Patton’s arrest on charges of 1st Degree Murder and Aggravated Battery with a Firearm. The murder charges carries a prison sentence ranging from 45 to 85 years.
Patton was on parole for a December 2015 shooting incident at the Steak ‘n Shake on North Prospect in Champaign. He pled guilty to Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, and was sentenced to 8 years in prison, but was then approved for parole involving a stay in a Department of Corrections boot camp.
Rietz said Patton was released from the boot camp approximately three weeks ago.
In addition to Patton, who is the subject of a $5 million warrant, Rietz says authorities are also trying to find the people responsible for the beating that took place a few minutes before the shooting.
Video surveillance footage released by Champaign Police (below) shows a large number of people in the parking lot on Green Street when the shooting incident occurred. Police Chief Anthony Cobb is asking them to cooperate with the investigation.
“We’re asking anyone who was on the scene to come forward to be interviewed,” said Cobb.
Eyewitnesses and others with information can contact Champaign Police investigators at 217-351-4545 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Champaign has been the site of a number of shootings over the past few years. But this shooting attracted statewide attention for occurring just blocks from the University of Illinois campus. At the police news conference Wednesday announcing the latest developments in the investigation, Campus Police Chief Jeff Christensen emphasized efforts to keep the campus safe.
"We truly have a very tight-knit Illinois family." said Christensen. "It’s important that we support each other, help each other heal and make it loud and clear that we do not tolerate this kind of violence in our community.”
In addition to the fatal shooting on Green Street, Champaign Police are also investigating a shooting that occurred in the 700 block of S. State Street, about a half-hour later. Initially thought to be a related incident, investigators have not found any evidence that the two shootings are connected. Police say they have received little to no cooperation.
(This story was updated at 4:30 PM 9/28/16, to add remarks from Chief Christensen).