Rock Island reacts to shooting in District

The shooting left five injured, one dead
Rock Island police and the Illinois State Police are responding to an early morning incident in...
Rock Island police and the Illinois State Police are responding to an early morning incident in the Rock Island District. Details are limited right now, but a witness told TV6 the incident happened around 2 a.m. at the intersection of 18th Street and 2nd Avenue.(KWQC)
Published: Aug. 29, 2020 at 11:29 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - Following a shooting in the district of Rock Island early Saturday Morning, the Rock Island Police Department along with Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms and Davenport Mayor Mike Matson held a press conference on Saturday Afternoon. In the conference, Rock Island Chief of Police Jeff VenHuizen expressed confidence in keeping those involved in the shooting accountable.

“We’re going to pursue this case, we’re not going to give up, and those that are responsible are going to be held accountable,” said VenHuizen.

Chief VenHuizen also said Crimestoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest for the person or persons responsible for the homicide.

Mayor’s Matson and Thoms also announced that Downtown Davenport, the District of Rock Island, and the East Village of Davenport would see a curfew from Midnight Saturday until approximately 6 a.m. the following morning.

Mayor Thoms said that both decided to shut down simultaneously to keep each other safe.

“Like a balloon, if you close one, people will have a tendency to go to the other, we don’t want that element to go to the other,” said Thoms.

For Black Sheep Owner Shawn Cirlos, the move comes as a blow to his business in the District.

“Especially with COVID we have to make every penny count, it’s hard enough already with the social distancing so we’re already losing customers because of that and then now we’d have to close early because of that, and now we will have to close early when we rely on the midnight to 2 a.m.,” said Cirlos.

Cirlos also believes that the result of the early morning shooting is due to fewer officers patrolling the district on Friday and Saturday nights.

“It 100% has gone up because the lack of police presence down here,” said Cirlos, “I’ve been here four years, the first two, three years you didn’t see these issues now that there’s the units that aren’t constantly down here, you’re seeing a lot more people just hanging out, drinking their own alcohol, causing issues.”

As for the shooting itself, one witnessed described what he saw after taking cover underneath a car.

“I got underneath that white Lexus and pretty much the moment I looked up I watched the deceased party, I watched his head hit the ground and I knew that moment when I knew this was a shooting and this was a killing,” said the witness.

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