At least 100 people died from gunfire over the past three years and at least 500 were wounded, according to data obtained from a sample of police departments of eight small cities in downstate Illinois.
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting examined gun violence data as part of a collaboration with Illinois Newsroom, a regional journalism collaboration of six NPR and PBS stations in downstate Illinois.
The data included at least 1,500 reports of shootings between 2015 and 2017. The analysis by the Midwest Center excluded suicides and self-inflicted wounds.
The cities included Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Danville, Decatur, Peoria, Springfield and Urbana. The cities range in population from 26,000 to 115,000 persons.
While the data on shootings can be inconsistent, the data reveal the severity and chronic nature of the shootings, which persist despite community and police efforts to lessen or end them. The data show that from 2015 through 2017:
- In Bloomington, there have been at least 15 people wounded and no homicides reported
- In Carbondale, there have been at least 16 people wounded and five people killed.
- In Champaign, there have been at least 14 people killed and 32 people wounded; however, due to the way police data is collected, there may be up to 137 people wounded.
- In Danville, there have been 80 people wounded and 13 people killed .
- In Decatur, there have been at least 83 people wounded and 17 people killed.
- In Peoria, there have been at least 251 people wounded and 26 people killed.
- In Springfield, there have been at least 122 people wounded shootings and at least 24 people killed.
- In Urbana, there have been at least 15 people wounded and four people killed.
Across Illinois, the following maps give an insight to where the violence occurred between 2015 and 2017. Click on a point to see more information.
In Danville, this map charts homicides and injuries. An "x" in the info box next to "Homicide" indicates a person was murdered.
In Peoria, Illinois, this map charts reported homicides and injuries:
In Springfield, Illinois, this map charts reported homicides and injuries:
In Urbana, Illinois, this map charts crimes related to gun violence.
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is a partner of the Illinois Newsroom, a regional journalism collaboration focused on expanding coverage of education, state politics, health, and the environment. The collaborative includes Illinois Public Media in Urbana, NPR Illinois in Springfield, WSIU in Carbondale, WVIK in the Quad Cities, Tri States Public Radio in Macomb, and Harvest Public Media. Funding comes from the stations and grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and McCormick Foundation.