Normal police stand outside 1444 E. College Ave., Normal, following a shooting Wednesday night at the Lancaster Heights apartment complex. A Bloomington teen was charged Friday with murder, accused of shooting the victims more than 20 times.

BLOOMINGTON — A  Bloomington teenager is accused of firing more than 20 rounds from an AR-15 rifle into two men Wednesday night at an apartment on Normal's east side.

Christopher Harrison, 17, was brought from the county juvenile detention center to the county jail Friday for a bond hearing held via a video link with the courtroom. 

McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers said officers found the two victims lying in the hallway inside the apartment complex. A witness told police Harrison was seen leaving the apartment and going to another apartment on the second floor.

Harrison was found in that apartment that he shares with his mother, said police.

Chambers said Gardner was shot 13 times, including nine rounds to the back of his head and back; Hart suffered eight gunshot wounds to his head, neck, back and legs.

Harrison is charged as an adult with six counts of first-degree murder, eight counts related to stolen or illegally possessed guns and two counts of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver the drug.

Associate Judge Pablo Eves set bond at $2.5 million, meaning Harrison must post $250,035 to be released on the murder charges. He is being held in the county's juvenile detention facility; his photo was not made available. 

Chambers' statement outlined allegations of drug dealing against Harrison, but no such accusations were leveled against the two victims. Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner said Thursday the incident may be tied to drugs, but no motive has been disclosed by authorities. 

According to Chambers, Harrison told officers, "I'm not gonna lie to you. I took a bag and put it in the apartment."

Officers found a trash bag containing the AR-15 rifle, a 9 mm handgun and a shotgun — all allegedly stolen from their owners. Ammunition for the AR-15 and handgun also were found in the home, according to police.

A shoe box containing about 190 grams of suspected marijuana, a scale and packaging materials were found in Harrison's bedroom, said Chambers. 

Harrison looked down and did not speak as the statement accusing him of the double homicide was read by the prosecutor.

A group of people wearing T-shirts with disparaging remarks toward the victims was forced by court security to remove the shirts before going to the third floor of the Law and Justice Center where the hearing was held. Several people in the group sobbed and held onto each other after the proceeding.

Public Defender Carla Barnes asked for a lower bond, citing Harrison’s participation in the local YouthBuild program. The defendant has lived in Bloomington since the seventh grade, Barnes told the judge.

An arraignment is set for May 11. 

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Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny


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