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Arrest made in connection to New Year’s Eve homicide, NPD still looking for suspect

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NORMAL (HOI) -- Normal Police say they have arrested someone after a man was fatally shot in Normal on New Year's Eve.

Tariq L. Houston, age 17, died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen after a fight escalated and shots were fired.

Police say he was attending a "large gathering" when it happened.

On Friday, Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner said officers had arrested 18-year-old Garrett R. Ahlfield, of Bloomington in connection to the case, but they do not believe the suspect is the one who fired the deadly shot.

Garrett R. Ahlfield, 18

Bleichner says they believe that after the first shots were fired, people were gathering around Houston, some of them trying to help.

Police say video and physical evidence indicate that Ahlfield approached the group, fired five shots into the air, and fled the scene.

Ahlfield is now being held at the McLean County Jail and has been charged with nine felonies:

  • 5 Counts of Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
  • 2 Counts of Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon
  • 1 Count of Possession of a Firearm without a FOID card
  • 1 Count of UUW/Person Delinquent Minor

NPD say the case remains an active and ongoing investigation as they are still searching for the person responsible for the death of Tariq Houston.

Chief Rick Bleichner says that they are still seeking any input from the community that could lead to the identification and arrest of a suspect.

Anyone who may have information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact Det. Jason Hoollenkamp at 309-454-9730 or Sgt. Rob Cherry at 309-454-9726.

Individuals can also contact the McLean County Crime Stoppers at 309-828-1111, where callers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 for tips leading to the arrest or indictment of individuals responsible.

Sheridan Swathwood

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