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Neighbors react to Thursday East Bluff shooting

Peoria, Ill. (HOI) – A man is in critical condition after he was shot in the neck several times Thursday afternoon in Peoria’s East Bluff neighborhood. This was the second shooting in five days and it all played out in broad daylight. Neighbors say something has to change because the shootings have become all too common.

“I’m just walking through the alley. Somebody get to shooting on this block and like when you’re from over here, it’s just gonna happen,” said 15-year-old resident Matthew Smith. “There be a lot of shootings over here.”

The 400 block of Arcadia filled with Peoria police around 4 p.m. after a shotspotter alert for seven rounds in the area. A large group of people stood nearby the scene trying to figure out what happened.

Kristen Meierkord was sitting on her porch when she heard the shots fired. Her first thought: Is my daughter okay? At six years old, she already asks if the loud bangs are fireworks or gun shots.

“It’s very upsetting because I’ll tell her fireworks and then she sees the sirens go by and she says ‘Why are you lying Mom,” said Meierkord.

She says there are new police patrolling her area every two months and her daughter stands outside on the sidewalk to wave.

“But they never acknowledge anyone. They need to get out of the cars and meet the community and that respect will be reciprocated.”

Police stayed on scene to collect shell casings and other evidence. There is no suspect information and Matthew Smith says he isn’t shocked.

“Yeah, it happens a lot so like it’s just a normal thing.”

Mike Miletich

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