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Victims identified in double homicide; BPD still looking for assailants

From the The most significant B-N news events from 2018...so far series
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BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington police on Monday identified the victims of a double homicide Sunday morning on the city's east side as they continue to search for whoever shot them to death.  

Taneshiea A. Brown, 20, and Steven C. Alexander Jr., 18, both of Bloomington, were pronounced dead at 1:17 a.m. Sunday in the 1200 block of Orchard Road, said police spokesman Elias Mendiola.

Both had been shot and were found outside an apartment building in what was the second gun-related double homicide this spring in Bloomington-Normal. The city also has seen one other homicide and five other gunfire incidents with injuries and/or property damage so far this year.  

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

An official determination of the cause of death for Brown and Alexander will come after toxicology tests are complete, said police and the McLean County coroner's office.

A detective could be seen going door-to-door on Monday as police continue to look for more information in the case. There have been no arrests.

Police were called to the scene at 1:09 a.m. after getting several reports of multiple shots being fired in the area. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a vehicle drive away from the scene, but police have not confirmed any details.

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“We know that there was a large gathering at the time this happened,” Mendiola said. “We are still investigating.”

“I don’t know what happened, but I heard gunshots and a car driving off at a high rate of speed,” Todd Elliott, who said he lives a couple of blocks away, told The Pantagraph on Sunday afternoon.

Police continue to ask for the public's help in their investigation. Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to contact Detective Paul Swanlund, 309-434-2373, or Detective Steve Fanelli, 309-434-2457.

If you want to remain anonymous, contact the McLean County Crimestoppers at 309-828-1111. If your call leads to the arrest and indictment of a suspect, you may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.

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The double homicide follows another recently in the Twin Cities. 

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. 

The Orchard Road incident was the sixth confirmed shooting in Bloomington so far this year and the second in a week.

On June 4, police reported two 19-year-old men were injured about 1:14 a.m. when the car they were in was shot at near the intersection of Monroe and McLean streets.

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.

Around 8:35 p.m. on May 7, the rear window of a car was shot out by gunfire in the 300 block of Riley Drive. No injuries were reported, but a 16-year-old was apprehended shortly after the incident with a stolen handgun.

Police were called to the 2100 and 2200 blocks of Rainbow Avenue at 9:31 p.m. April 4 for a report of gunfire and later found a man had been shot in the leg. A handgun and multiple shell casings were found at the scene. No arrests have been made.

On Feb. 20, police were called to the 900 block of West Olive Street and discovered several rounds had entered a residence. The incident was reported at 3:09 a.m. There were no injuries and no arrests.

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.

As a result of that incident, Shomari J. Givihan, 21, was arrested and later formally charged with two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle and possessing a firearm without a proper firearm owner's identification card. He remains in McLean County jail in lieu of posting $10,035. He is due in court on June 28.

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

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