BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington residents will hear about the recent escalation of gun-related violence in the city, particularly on the west side, at two meetings involving Police Chief Clay Wheeler.
He will discuss it at his bimonthly focus meeting from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Osborn Room at the Bloomington Police Department. He also will address it when he presents the department's annual crime statistics at the City Council meeting at 6 p.m. March 11 at City Hall.
"So, given some of the recent discussion, I wanted make sure that ... the community is aware that it is going to be a public discussion at both (meetings)," City Manager Tim Gleason said.
Following a Feb. 11 council meeting, Ward 7 Alderman Scott Black called for a public presentation from the police chief "to walk the community through what is being done, what's the plan, and how we are addressing these issues."
He and Ward 1 Alderman Jamie Mathy told The Pantagraph they have been getting a lot of phone calls from people worried about their safety in the wake of recent shootings on the west side.
Rental property owner Karen Kinsella told the council earlier this month that she and her husband, Gerard Berthel, are hesitant to invest further in the west side because of the violence they are seeing.
The chief's focus meeting "is an opportunity for anybody to voice concerns and ask questions of the chief," said John Fermon, BPD public affairs officer.
West-side incidents include the fatal shooting of Trevonte Kirkwood on Oct. 30 in the 1300 block of North Oak Street; a man who survived multiple gunshot wounds on Feb. 3 in the 800 block of North Roosevelt Avenue; and shots fired into a residence the 1400 block of North Lee Street on Jan. 31. No arrests have been made in those cases.
Tyjuan Bruce, 20, and Anthony Grampsas, 18, both of Decatur, have been charged in the Dec. 5 shooting death of Egerton Dover, 20, near his home in the 800 block of West Jefferson Street.
A triple homicide on June 18 on Riley Drive in east Bloomington left three men dead and a young boy wounded. Fatally shot were Nate Pena and Corey Jackson, both 22, and Juan Carlos Perez, 33. Pena's young son was critically injured. Sydney Mays Jr. is charged with murder in that case.
On June 10, Taneshiea Brown, 20, and Steven Alexander Jr., 18, were shot to death as they stood outside a party at 1221 Orchard Road in east Bloomington. Hammet Brown faces murder charges in their deaths.