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'A very chaotic scene:' 3 killed, child injured in Bloomington shooting

Deaths bring total number of Twin City homicides to eight so far this year

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Bloomington Police brought out heavy weapons as they set up a perimeter after tensions grew in a crowd of bystanders as news spread that three people had been shot to death and another wounded at 311 Riley Drive Monday, June 18, 2018. Police in the background investigated the crime scene.

BLOOMINGTON — Three men are dead and a 4-year-old boy is critically wounded after a shooting at a Riley Drive apartment building in Bloomington, the city's second fatal shooting with multiple victims this month.

Police were called at 2:43 p.m. Monday to 311 Riley Drive on the city's east side for a report of a person shot, said Bloomington Police Department spokesman Elias Mendiola.

“Officers arrived to a very chaotic scene,” he said. “Once entry was gained to the apartment complex, we confirmed that three individuals are deceased and a fourth individual has been transported to an area hospital.”

McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis pronounced one man dead at 4:08 p.m. and two at 4:16 p.m., all at the scene, Mendiola said. Their names were withheld pending notification of relatives.

Autopsies are scheduled for Tuesday.

The boy, found with a gunshot wound, was taken to an area hospital before being flown to a Peoria hospital in critical condition, he said.

There were no arrests as of Monday night and the motive remained unknown, Mendiola said.


Friends of the three people who had been shot to death at 311 Riley Drive console each other as police continue their investigation Monday, June 18, 2018. A fourth person was wounded during the shooting that occurred about 2:43 p.m.

Dozens of Bloomington police cars raced to the complex and closed the street. At times, officers stood in the street armed with rifles, and some officers and detectives at the scene were wearing bulletproof vests.

Officials from the county’s Emergency Management Agency also were on hand.

The three-story brick building, part of Fairway Apartments, was cordoned off with police crime scene tape, and residents of the apartment complex were not allowed into their buildings for several hours.

“We don’t know what’s going on,” said one of the building’s residents who asked not to be identified. “We just found out (through the media) that three people were gone, but they won’t tell us anything.”

Neighbors from around the area gathered outside the scene, and expressed frustration with the lack of information.

“This is my neighborhood,” said Shandaina Roberson, who said she lived in one of the neighboring apartment complexes. “I’m scared. I’m scared to go inside. I’m scared to be outside.

"I just want to get away from here. But before I do, I would like to know a little bit about what happened.”

Her friend, Denise Cameroon, also admitted frustration with the unknown.

“I’ve talked to some officers here and they claim they don’t know what’s going on and don’t know anything and can’t let me talk to anyone who does,” she said. “How are we supposed to go back into our homes with all of this going on?”

Another neighbor, Gary Shelton, who lives near the corner of Riley and Mecherle drives, said he was outside working when the incident started.

“I thought I heard something, but in this neighborhood, you always hear stuff,” he said. “A couple of minutes later, the cop cars, the rescue squad, and the fire trucks came racing in. Then everyone else just flocked here to see what was going on.”


The incident occurred several blocks away, but Shelton said he has had issues with the residents or visitors to the apartments in the past.

“It’s like an ongoing problem over there,” he said. “I’ve called (the property management company) to complain, but nothing is ever done about it.”

Other neighbors acknowledged problems in the area.

“You always suspect some drug activity and stuff over here,” said Jaquan Hamm, who said he lived in one of the neighboring apartments. “But now people are getting shot, and it’s ridiculous. We’ve had way too many shootings in this town.”


Bystanders were trying to determine what had happened after three people had been shot to death and another wounded at 311 Riley Drive Monday, June 18, 2018.

Mendiola declined to comment on whether or not the incident could be connected to other recent incidents.

“We are in the very early stages of this investigation,” he said.

The latest Riley incident was the eighth confirmed shooting in Bloomington-Normal so far this year, and eight people have been listed as homicide victims so far this year in the Twin Cities.


Residents along Riley Drive were fearful as news spread that three people had been shot to death and another wounded at 311 Riley Drive Monday, June 18, 2018.

Two people were shot to death June 10 in the 1200 block of Orchard Road. Taneshiea A. Brown, 20, and Steven C. Alexander Jr., 18, both of Bloomington, were pronounced dead at 1:17 a.m. at the scene outside an apartment building where they reportedly were attending a party, authorities said.

Two other adult victims in that shooting were transported to local hospitals for treatment of gunshot wounds, but their identities and conditions have not been released.

On April 25, Joseph Gardner, 20, and Reginald Hart Jr., 19, both of Bloomington, were shot to death in a hallway at Lancaster Heights apartments at 1444 E. College Ave., in Normal.

Christopher Harrison, 17,  remains in McLean County jail in lieu of posting $250,035 on six counts of first-degree murder and other weapons and drug charges. He is scheduled in court on June 26.

In Bloomington's other 2018 homicide, Nicole Elbert, 30, was stabbed to death after an apparent domestic dispute Feb. 5 at an apartment at 610 N. McLean St. Monroe Elbert, 50, is charged with the murder, but last month, a judge ruled him unfit to stand trial. An Aug. 8 hearing is scheduled for a review of the status of the case. 


Bloomington Police detectives interview neighbors after three people had been shot to death and another wounded at 311 Riley Drive Monday, June 18, 2018.

Police say one man was injured by gunfire and was transported to a local hospital. A man in the same car also was wounded, but details on how he was injured were not released.

No arrests have been made in that case.

On Feb. 3, a 25-year-old woman reported she, an adult man and a child were in a parking lot in the 2100 block of North Veterans Parkway when a man approached the vehicle, displayed a handgun and then shot at the vehicle. The three were not injured.

Anyone with information on the Riley homicides is asked to contact Bloomington police Detective Tim Power at (309) 434-2579 or, Detective Brad Melton at (309) 434-2537 or, and Detective Steve Moreland at (309) 434-2359 or

If you wish to remain anonymous, please call McLean County Crime Stoppers at (309) 828-1111. If your call leads to the arrest and indictment of suspect(s) you may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

Roger Miller and David Proeber contributed to this report. 

Agriculture Reporter

Agriculture reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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