Black Mob Lures Peoria Police and Firefighters to Dumpster Fire, Then Starts Shooting them with Fireworks
Fireworks ambushes today, gun ambushes tomorrow. The police did not arrest a single person. Protect and Serve. What a sham!
Update-This is a separate incident than the one reported yesterday and not an update of Sunday nights incident.
An incident that left a Peoria policeman and firefighter with temporary hearing loss after being fired upon with mortar-type fireworks in Taft Homes is being reviewed by authorities Tuesday.
Just as the grand finale of the riverfront fireworks display was exploding over the Illinois River on Monday night, emergency responders were summoned to Taft Homes on a call of a burningDumpster.
A fire engine and two police officers were the first to respond. Peoria Fire Department Division Chief Gary Van Voorhis said a crowd that had been shooting firewworks as the engine arrived turned the tubes toward emergency personnel and ignited the contents.
One firework hit a firefighter in the shoulder, causing hearing loss. The firefighter declined medical attention and remained on duty, Van Voorhis said. Other fireworks struck the engine and caused burn marks on the vehicle.
Peoria Police Capt. Mike Scally, who was the event commander for the Red, White and Boom event on the riverfront, said one of the two officers who initially responded to Taft Homes also complained of hearing loss later in the night and went to the hospital for treatment.
The crowd that had gathered initially did not respond to officers’ commands to disperse and was fired upon with pepper ball guns. The crowd became compliant as more officers arrived, Scally said.
He described the fireworks recovered at the scene as “three- to four-inch” mortar shells.
As the grand finale of the Red, White and Boom! event exploded over the Illinois River, emergency responders were called at 9:46 p.m. to atrash bin fire in nearby Taft Homes, where commercial-grade fireworks had been shooting into the sky since before the riverfront show began.
A fire engine and two Peoria police officers responded, but encountered what police described as a crowd of hundreds of people and an impassable Hancock Street choked with trash and fireworks — both live and spent. The debris blocked access to the burning trash bin.
Police at that point began ordering the crowds to disperse, and firefighters hosed down the live fireworks and smoldering remnants of spent shells. That’s when mortar-type fireworks began firing toward and exploding near the officers and firefighters. Some people also hurled bottles and rocks, according to police.
At least three shells exploded on the engine, causing burn marks, and one hit a firefighter in the shoulder, charring his heat-resistant gear and temporarily initiating hearing loss. Division Chief Gary Van Voorhis said Tuesday the firefighter declined medical attention at the scene and remained on duty.
One of the first responding police officers also suffered some hearing loss and sought treatment at a local hospital later in the night, according to Peoria police Capt. Mike Scally, who also was the event commander for the riverfront fireworks display. The injured officer was not admitted to the hospital and had submitted a report on the incident before ending his shift.
“It was rowdy, and those fireworks were dangerous,” Scally said, estimating that the mortar-type fireworks had a “three- to four-inch” diameter. “They’re designed to go up in the air, not horizontal.”
As those first fireworks exploded around the firefighters, police radioed for additional backup, drawing officers who had been stationed Downtown to direct traffic, as well as troopers with the Illinois State Police and Park District Police.
Crowds initially resisted commands from police, authorities said, blocking the path of responding officers who used pepper ball guns to break up the group. One officer drove through a locked, gated portion of the wrought-iron fence that surrounds Taft to provide additional access to distressed officers. Doug Burgess, the Peoria police public information officer, said as many as 200 pepper balls were fired before the crowd came under control.
“Every officer that responded said pretty much the same thing — that it was chaotic and like a riot,” Burgess said. “Every officer received bruises and burn marks.”
The fire engine never made it to the burning trash bin. Van Voorhis said the fire was not threatening residents or property and was allowed to burn as officers assisted the engine in turning around and exiting Taft.
“Our main concern was the safety of our firefighters” once it became apparent no people or property were in danger, he said. “It’s not deserving for anyone to be shot at with fireworks.”
Van Voorhis added that firefighters have been targeted by fireworks before, but that the magnitude of the incident Monday was unprecedented. In response, the department will review its policy of how to respond to crowded areas with fires that don’t appear to threaten anyone’s physical well-being or nearby property.
Peoria police, too, will devise enhanced security measures for Taft Homes next year, Burgess said. Revelers there have traditionally held private firework displays on the Fourth and previously made targets of police and passersby, though not to the same extent as Monday.
The Peoria Housing Authority has staffed the Taft property with additional security for Fourth of July events for many years to deal with the large volume of people who come to the area for fireworks in the housing project and on the riverfront.
Meghan Lundeen, a spokeswoman for the PHA, said Tuesday that additional security was on hand Monday night and that staff cleaned up a large amount of firework debris Tuesday.
“There’s always more people (in Taft) on the Fourth. … A lot of people who are on our site at night are not residents,” she said. “In any neighborhood, more people means more potential for chaos.”
Blacks Mob Shoots Fireworks at Peoria Police and Firefighters Near the Taft Homes Sunday night, Forces Adams Street to close
A “major incident” involving a large group of people shooting fireworks at police and firefighters occurred near the Taft Homes just before 10 p.m. Sunday, about the same time the fireworks show on the riverfront was ending.
Police had to briefly shut down Adams and Eaton streets, near Taft, as they dispersed the large crowds.
No officers or firefighters were injured, dispatchers said on the radio.
At one point, police were ordered to tell those in the crowd to go into their apartments, leave or be arrested for unlawful assembly.
Comments-No one should be surprised. I’n 2009, a similar mob took place with an estimated 300+ blacks rioting. https://blackpeoria.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/peoria-niggers-riot-at-4th-of-july-fireworks-demonstration-at-the-riverfront/ A reoccurring theme in Peoria, and there is still silence on the issue. Black gang terrorism at its finest!
Though they are not fooling many, Peoria community leaders, media, and police are once again trying to cover up another outburst of black gang terrorism. They continue to push this pipe dream that Peoria is some kind of Paradise. It is a wonderful place if you are black and like doing/dealing drugs, robbing, raping, killing, and collecting welfare checks. Just remember whitey, this paradise is created at your expense. Just imagine if the roles were reversed. There would be an outcry from national media all across the country. Besides a few local news articles, there is not even a peep. Wake up white people!
“America is now a battleground. If you go out unarmed, you have minimal chance of surviving. I call on every American to carry a gun or at least a knife – not to do so is an act of criminal irresponsibility.”
A pair of shootings overnight Wednesday brought to two dozen the number of victims in the city in the last two weeks – a figure that elevates the amount of recent gun violence to a possibly unprecedented level.
The tally, compiled by the Journal Star and confirmed by the Peoria Police Department, includes the public suicide of Bernell Alexander last week in South Peoria, but not the slaying of his ex-wife in Creve Coeur just minutes before he took his own life.
The most recent victims included a man who was shot in the shoulder at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday in the 3400 block of Sunburst Lane in the Lexington Hills apartments and a man with a gunshot wound to the neck who was taken by private vehicle to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center at 3:13 a.m. Thursday. The second victim told police he was shot while he was a passenger in a vehicle driving through Harrison Homes.
The second shooting marked the 24th victim of gunfire since June 16, when a pair of afternoon shootings kicked off a 12-hour spree of violence that resulted in one fatality and five other people being wounded, including two children who were sleeping on the floor of their North Valley home.
Just a few days later, six people – all teens between the ages of 16 and 19 – were shot during two incidents less than a couple of hours apart.
Several days with multiple shootings and the city’s 15th and most recent homicide have since transpired, leading Lt. Vince Wieland of the Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division to label the period the worst in terms of local gun violence in decades.
“I haven’t seen two weeks like this in my 23 years,” Wieland said Thursday. “I can’t remember two weeks that have been this packed with such a number of violent acts.”
Compared to last year, however, the number of shootings so far this year does not appear to be abnormally high. Through June 22, the city had recorded 58 shootings, compared to 45 over the same time period last year.
“When we’re looking back to June 22, there isn’t that much of an increase, it’s just how it’s coming – it’s coming in bunches,” Wieland said. “It’s getting everyone’s attention because there’s been so many so quickly.”
Several of the shootings appear to be connected and gang-related, and the police have responded in part by temporarily reassigning an officer to a gang intelligence position that was cut at the beginning of the year to ease a $14.5 million citywide deficit.
Wieland called that position critical for investigations of shootings and a better way for the police to keep tabs on what’s happening on the streets. So far, the gang violence appears to have been generated by people and groups familiar to investigators, though some ground was lost when the gang intelligence position was vacant.
“We did lose some vital information that we were tracking,” Wieland said.
Though the recent spike in gun violence has caught the attention of authorities and onlookers for its unusual frequency, it remains, to a certain extent, part of a pattern that repeats every year.
Elaine Frye, executive director of emergency medical services at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, acknowledges the unusually large cluster of shootings in the last two weeks but also notes that more victims of violence tend to visit the level-one trauma center as temperatures rise.
“There is a seasonality to it – when the weather is nicer, more people are outside and roaming,” she said. “We see it every year. When the weather breaks, we see more stabbings, shootings and violence.”
The recent level of violence, she said, has not affected emergency operations at the hospital
A man who gained notoriety for firing upon a fellow student in a crowded Peoria high school hallway – then had his prison term for the crime significantly reduced on appeal – has been arrested in connection with a recent wave of gun violence.
Dione Alexander, 21, with a last known address of 921 S. Folkers Ave., turned himself in to police Wednesday. He was questioned and arrested in connection to shootings June 16 at 1916 W. Marquette Ave. and Sunday at 1204 W. Millman St. He was booked on charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm, armed violence and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in each case.
Police also have made three other arrests – Dietrich J. Richardson II, 22, of 217 S. Western Ave.; Tristan L. Shelton, 19, of 2817 W. Marquette Ave.; and an unidentified juvenile – related to two weekend shootings.
Deandte M. Lewis, 19, of 510 W. McClure Ave. additionally was arrested Saturday for allegedly shooting Darian T. Johnson in the buttock June 16 in the 2800 block of West Wiswall Street. Lewis was released from Peoria County Jail on Monday with a notice to appear in court, though it is unclear what charges he will face.
Alexander was a 15-year-old freshman at Woodruff High School in January 2005 when he opened fire on a boy with whom he had been feuding. No one was injured, but the school and neighborhood were locked down for hours and increased school security measures followed the incident.
The intended target, Omar Porter, also has made headlines in the years since the incident for gun and drug crimes for which he has repeatedly been sent to prison.
Peoria County Judge James Shadid sentenced Alexander to 24 years in prison after he was convicted of the Woodruff shooting in 2006, but that term was later overturned by the Third District Appellate Court in Ottawa. When the case returned to Shadid’s courtroom for a new sentence, he again imposed the 24-year term.
The identical sentence prompted the appellate judges to take the rare step of imposing a new, vastly reduced term of six years for Alexander because the judges insisted Shadid had not properly considered the shooter’s troubled childhood and put too much emphasis on the location of the shooting, at a school.
Judges Mary K. O’Brien and Mary McDade agreed in the 2-1 decision that the reduced term was appropriate, while Judge William Holdridge dissented. By the time that decision was handed down, it essentially amounted to an order for early release, and Alexander was paroled in July 2009.
Police now believe he was involved in a shooting about 3:10 p.m. June 16 at the Marquette Street address. A man was shot in the lower calf as he sat outside his house.
He is also suspected in the shootings at a South Peoria house party early Sunday. Authorities were called to 1204 W. Millman St. about 12:15 a.m. after shots were fired from a vehicle – possibly parked on Butler Street behind the Millman address – into a group of about 50 or 60 teenagers. When police arrived, no one claimed to have been shot.
But a second call of shots fired came in about 2 a.m. at 2129 W. Wiswall St., and police found six people there with gunshot wounds. Two of the victims apparently were shot during the first incident and went to the Wiswall Street location. None of the victims – aged 16 to 19 – was seriously injured.
Peoria police issued a notice for officers to arrest Alexander in connection with the shooting on Millman Street late Tuesday, and he was nearly apprehended in Peoria Heights within a matter of hours but escaped.
A Peoria Heights police officer spotted Alexander walking from 804 E. Paris Ave. with 19-year-old resident Jacqueline Bullins to a vehicle parked outside the home just after 12 a.m. Wednesday. The officer attempted to apprehend Alexander, but he fled on foot and escaped.
Officers took the driver of the vehicle, Shelton, into custody and found several small packages of marijuana in his pocket. On the passenger seat of the car was a loaded handgun, which police also seized.
Shelton’s connection to the shooting on Millman Street on Sunday is unclear, but he was booked on a charge of attempted murder for that incident. Charges related to the incident during which he was apprehended in Peoria Heights include armed violence, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a firearm without a valid firearm owner’s identification card, possession of a firearm projectile, possession of 10 to 30 grams of marijuana and possession of 10 to 30 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver.
Shelton was convicted in 2008 of possession of between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana with intent to deliver and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Prior to that, he had served stints in juvenile prison on stolen vehicle and weapons charges. According to the Department of Corrections website, he was not on parole at the time of the alleged shootings.
The second arrest related to the Sunday shootings occurred in South Peoria on Tuesday and appears unrelated to the incident in Peoria Heights. Richardson was taken into custody near his home after an armed robbery about 4:40 p.m. in the parking lot of JJ Fish and Chicken, 913 S. Western Ave.
A customer was robbed at gunpoint of his wallet and cell phone, and police took Richardson into custody while investigating that crime, though he is not suspected of participating in the robbery.
Richardson was booked on charges of six counts of attempted murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm in an occupied vehicle, felon in possession of a weapon and obstructing justice. The charges are connected to both Sunday shootings. He was convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in August 2008 and sentenced to two years of probation and 30 days in jail. The probation was scheduled to lapse in less than two months.
A South Peoria bakery was robbed at gunpoint on Thursday afternoon, making it the third armed robbery at the store in the past six weeks.
A man with a handgun entered Butternut Bread Co., 605 S. Shelley St., just after 4 p.m. and demanded money from an employee. He took off on a bicycle with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.
The bakery also was robbed Dec. 29 and Jan. 31.