Police Make Three Gun Arrests

On May 5, 2021, at approximately 5:15 p.m., members of the Champaign Country Street Crimes Task Force conducted a vehicle stop for a traffic violation in the 1600 block of North Market Street. The vehicle pulled into a parking lot and the front seat passenger fled on foot. Following a police foot pursuit, the passenger, identified as Omarion Purnell, 18, of Urbana, was taken into custody after witnesses observed him discard a firearm in his flight path which was located by officers and loaded with 16 rounds of ammunition. Purnell was transported to the Champaign County Satellite Jail on preliminary offenses of Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Resisting/Obstructing a Peace Officer.

The driver of the vehicle, a 16-year-old Champaign male, was arrested after a stolen handgun was recovered from underneath the driver’s side seat. The juvenile was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center on preliminary offenses of Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and Improper Lane Usage.

On May 6, 2021, at approximately 1:27 a.m., Champaign Police responded to a business in the 2300 block of West Springfield Avenue for a reported domestic disturbance. Police were advised by METCAD a witness reportedly observed a white male pointing a gun at a female in the parking lot. Upon police arrival, the male and female had moved themselves inside the business and locked themselves inside the bathroom where the altercation continued. The male and female complied with police commands to exit the bathroom, and a loaded firearm was removed by police from the waistline of the male, who is identified as Sean Welch, 46, of Champaign.

Welch was arrested and transported to the Champaign County Satellite Jail on preliminary offenses of Aggravated Assault and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

These incidents remain under investigation. Champaign Police ask that anyone who has any additional information to please contact police at 217-351-4545. Arrangements can be made for information to be shared privately. 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.

Citizens are reminded 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.

All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.