5 people shot and wounded, 2 critically, in Illinois city, as gun violence cancels school events

One man was killed and seven people were wounded in three separate shootings hours apart in Peoria, continuing a spate of gun violence that started in the central Illinois city last weekend.

The man was killed Thursday morning about an hour after two other males were wounded in a shooting nearby, authorities said.

“There’s a war on the streets right now, and people have decided they’re going to take justice into their hands and commit these crimes we’re seeing,” Police Chief Eric Echevarria said Thursday.

He told reporters it's not clear if any of the shootings are connected.

Peoria Public Schools said Thursday that after-school activities had been canceled at five local schools and that it was working with the police to “ensure the safety of students and staff” amid the spate of gun violence.

The shootings Thursday followed one Wednesday night in which five people were wounded, two critically, and a sixth person suffered lacerations, police said. In that shooting, 29 rounds were fired. Everyone who was shot — all adult or juvenile males — and the other injured person were taken to a hospital. Aside from the adult and juvenile who were in critical condition, none of the others' injuries were considered life-threatening.

There have been six shootings since Saturday in Peoria, a city of about 110,000 people roughly 120 miles (194 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

On Saturday, a 21-year-old man and 34-year-old man were killed in separate attacks, the (Peoria) Journal Star reported.

Another shooting on Tuesday left a juvenile with serious injuries.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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