Yellow tape, flashing lights in the night, and evidence markers, families in tears crying for ones they love. This scene became all too familiar for Peoria citizens in 2019. Peoria experienced more bloodshed in 2019 than it had in two decades, with 25 homicides. Eleven of those remain without an arrest.
Less than two weeks into 2019 -- a 32-year-old man was shot on West Marquette Street. Kedron Murphy died after he was shot five times. Almost a year later -- no one has been arrested for killing him on January 12th.
The next deadly shooting would claim the life of two young men. 23-year-old Alijah Sumrell, an Illinois Army National Guardsman and 22-year-old Braden Huerta. The men were shot in and next to a car on East Virginia on January 29th.
30-year-old Michael Shipley was found fatally shot on February 6th. Peoria Police were called to a house on Thrush for a welfare check after someone called about the door being open. The community, remembering him at a vigil.
"My prayer is that the community can realize the value of life. And find other ways to work through any issues or whatever is that's going on."Concerned Peoria Citizen
On April 23rd, a teenager was killed at Peoria's Taft Homes after a bullet caused severe hemorrhaging. Louis Salazar was just 18. Coroner Jamie Harwood frustrated with the continuing violent trend from 2018.
"I think it takes a toll on the police department, it takes a toll on the citizens where the death occurs, and as a city as a whole i think it wears on all of us."Jamie Harwood, Peoria County Coroner
Then, citywide outrage came from the death of 4-year-old jeremiah ward on May 23rd. It was believed the young boy was caught in the cross fire on Ann Street.
"It could have been my grandchildren. It could have been your child. It could have been anybody's child. Now we're going through this where we gotta watch literally our kids being gunned down in the street? Over what?"Concerned Peoria Citizen
Peoria Police Chief Loren Marion spoke through tears.
"We believe that people with firsthand knowledge of the incident are withholding information. Which is very frustrating."Chief Loren Marion, Peoria Police
The city's 12th homicide of the year also remains unsolved after 34-year-old Bronzell Howard was shot and killed at Peoria's Harrison Homes in June
Next, a Fourth of July shooting took the life of a 30-year-old Robert Purdle on West Wiswall.
Two days later, 24-year-old Jaware Cole was shot in the face near R.B. Garrett and Richard Pryor Place. Cole was in critical condition for a week and a half before he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
And 49-year-old Sam Causey Junior likely died within seconds when he was shot multiple times near East Ravine on august 12th.
And the most recent unsolved murder was 23-year-old Kennard Hardy the second. The 23-year-old man known as 'Ken' died at the hospital after he was shot at the intersection of Steubenville and Kettelle. A shot spotter alert of 10 rounds sent police to the scene that night.
All eleven of these killings, still open cases being investigated by the Peoria police department.
"The biggest thing is to get the shooters off the street and that's where the community needs to step up and give us the information we need to get the shooters off the street."Chief Loren Marion, Peoria Police
In a statement, Lieutenant Mike Boland said, "I would urge people with information to call the department directly or call crime stoppers. And for those who know someone that has information, encourage and support them to come forward. These cases are solvable and have not gone cold. "
The Greater Peoria Area Crime Stopper can be reached anonymously at (309) 673-9000.