This evening, at approximately 5:02 p.m., Champaign Police responded to the 1000 block of N. James Street following reports of shots fired. Responding officers located a 35-year-old male victim at the scene suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the abdomen. The victim was transported to a local hospital where his condition is currently unknown.
The preliminary investigation indicates there was a verbal argument inside a residence. The argument led to a physical altercation outside the residence where the victim was then reportedly shot by the suspect. This is not believed to be a random act of violence.
As the investigation progressed, Champaign Police identified 21-year-old Lavante Neal (pictured) of Champaign as the suspect in the shooting. A warrant has been issued for his arrest for the offense of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm. Bond on the warrant was set at $750,000. Police are currently seeking the whereabouts of Neal.
The Champaign Police Department would like to thank the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office for its assistance during the initial stages of this investigation.
Police ask anyone who may have information about this incident to please to contact police at 217-351-4545. Arrangements can be made for information to be shared privately with police. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may also submit tips to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.
Champaign Police reminds citizens that information submitted to Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous. Calls are routed to a third-party national call center that receives your information, completes a tips information form, and then passes the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Caller ID tracking is not utilized by Crime Stoppers and conversations are not recorded.
Crime Stoppers will pay a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for this crime.
All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.