Rantoul man jailed after shooting in Urbana

Rantoul man jailed after shooting in Urbana

URBANA — A Rantoul man currently on parole and accused of shooting a gun in Urbana on Friday night is being held in the Champaign County Jail.

William Ayres Jr., 24, who listed an address in the 600 block of East Perimeter Road, was arrested about 11 p.m. by Champaign County sheriff’s deputies at a house in the 300 block of Scottswood Drive, Urbana.

Assistant State’s Attorney Troy Lozar said a deputy’s report indicated that the shooting allegedly stemmed from a dispute between Ayres and his girlfriend’s former boyfriend.

Lozar said the other man showed up at the girlfriend’s home to collect his things while Ayres was there and that Ayres reportedly pulled a gun on him. That happened about 9 p.m., Lozar said.

The alleged victim told deputies that Ayres chased him and some others down the street and that a shot was fired although it wasn’t clear if the shot was intended for anyone. No one was hit by gunfire, Lozar said.

Deputies found a casing in the area.

Ayres reportedly went back into the Scottswood Drive home, where deputies got him to come out about 11 p.m. He denied having a gun, Lozar said.

Lozar said formal charges are expected to be filed Monday against Ayres, who, because of prior felony convictions is not allowed to possess a weapon.

Judge Roger Webber set Ayres’ bond at $20,000.

He’s currently on parole for a 2014 aggravated robbery conviction. Lozar said Ayres has other convictions for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, obstructing justice and domestic battery.

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Pointblank wrote on February 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm
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Based on the News-Gazette's crime coverage, I have learned that black people, particularly black men under 25, are nothing but criminals who commit crimes all the time. From reading the News-Gazette, I realize if the cops want to racially profile blacks while they drive, then it's good strategy because blacks probably have guns and drugs on them. If the school districts were to segregate black youth into a seperate building, it would keep the rest of the kids safe from blacks who are wild and do not want to learn. From reading the News-Gazette, I have learned to stay away from areas of town that are largely populated by blacks because it is a high crime place. There is no reason to build businesses or housing in that area; and that property values in that area should be devalued since wherever blacks live, crime is rampant. If the police and prosecutors want to throw mostly blacks into prison, it probably would keep the rest of us safe. The News-Gazette and law enforcement have taught me well that blacks in Champaign County are an inferior race of criminals. I know because I read all about it everyday in the News-Gazette.

Skepticity wrote on February 12, 2017 at 11:02 am

Interesting that you imply bias on the part of the NG and ignore that they are reporting what criminals are doing. Perhaps you should aim your criticism at the perpetrators who are providing the NG with so many crimes to report.

If these crimes were not occurring, they would not be reported, and you would not be experiencing the supposed distressing perceptions you share with us in your comment. I read the same news and do not draw the conclusions that you do. Perhaps your own political views are leaking through in your sarcastic comment?


 

It is the criminal acts that are driving the reporting, and it is your own bias that leads you to your conclusions of blaming the messenger and not blaming those whose acts create the message.

Instead of slamming the NG, perhaps you should convince the criminals to stop committing the crimes reported in the NG. That would free you from the stress of your troubled views on this issue.

Pointblank wrote on February 13, 2017 at 3:02 am
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"I read the same news and do not draw the conclusions that you do."

That's impressive you can withstand the daily onslaught of messaging. Hopefully everyone is as smart as you. 

Mef wrote on February 12, 2017 at 5:02 am

In fairness, in this particular case a man who was black showed up to a place where several other people were at, things were said that probably shouldn't have been said, and then a gun was dislayed and used in a manner that sounds to be retaliation.

Perhaps they would have reported the story the exact same way had a white person committed this crime. Perhaps not.

What's important to know is that a man, regardless of color really,  that has prior felony convictions has access to a gun, is not afraid to display that gun and it shoot irrationally at people in our society. That's what we need to know and be worried about.

Yes, not all crimes are reported in the News-Gazette that happen in this area. Yes, it does seem like a dispropotional amount of crimes that happen in C-U are from black men committing them. Is this on purpose? I doubt that Mary Schenk purposely goes out of her way to report only black crime. She reports crime. If, say, someone like me, who happens to be a white man, never commits a crime, Mary Schenk can't report on me commiting a crime because, follow along here, I never committed the crime.

William Ayres shot a gun he illegally obtained with priors on his record at people to settle a dispute with people for whatever rational reason in his mind he needed to do so. I don't know if William Ayres, without a picture, is black or white. That name means nothing to me. The picture does not make me profile black people to believe that all of them have guns, that don't work, that don't want to go to school to learn, etc...Black, white, Chinese, Middle Eastern - whatever background you come from doesn't make the person, the person makes the person. I was not raised a criminal and have never been arrested. William Ayres has chosen a different path for his life and in so doing has made C-U a little less unsafe to be in with his actions. For the betterment of society, we should be able to put a face with the name William Ayres, and know that if we see him in society, he is an unhinged, dangerous man.

Pointblank wrote on February 13, 2017 at 3:02 am
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"What's important to know is that a man, regardless of color really,  that has prior felony convictions has access to a gun, is not afraid to display that gun and it shoot irrationally at people in our society. That's what we need to know and be worried about."

Is that the goal of this type of reporting? To "worry?" What is the content of that "worry?" is my question. Do we now demand from our legislators tougher sentences for possession of a gun by a felon? Do we now demand longer sentences and no more frills in the prisons? Is there any motivation whatsoever to do a full psychological evaluation of the shooter to understand what motivates this type of behavior? 

"For the betterment of society, we should be able to put a face with the name William Ayres, and know that if we see him in society, he is an unhinged, dangerous man."

It seems the crime reporting has had its intended effect. If we see someone who looks like William Ayres, will we also have the same perception? How likely is it someone looking like William Ayres is going to get hired for a job?

CptJustice wrote on February 13, 2017 at 3:02 am
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"Is there any motivation whatsoever to do a full psychological evaluation of the shooter to understand what motivates this type of behavior?"

No.

Skepticity wrote on February 13, 2017 at 11:02 am

If people are shooting guns in the community it is news. It is reporting dangerous incidents to the public, informing them of the incidents. Bullets flying present a risk to all in the area.

Presently there are a disproportionate number of African-American men who are involved in a criminal subculture and who are shooting or committing other serious crimes against members of the community. Their activities are in the news, as they should be. When members of other demographic groups commit dangerous crimes, those incidents are also reported.

It is not the paper that causes the disproportion. The specific serious criminal acts by persons in that group causes the demographic disproportion. It is their choice to engage in criminal behavior, not the appearance of the perpetrators that has led to the disproportion.

The gang subculture is destructive not only to members of gangs and their victims, but also to others by raising suspicion toward innocent others of similar appearance. The gangster subculture in the Black community is destructive to that community, just as the Mafia was harmful to innocent Italian-Americans.

If an innocent individual seeking work is passed over due to the activities of criminals who share a similar appearance to the innocent applicant, it is not the paper at fault, it is the actions of those criminals. If the criminal behavior is reduced, so will be the unfair perceptions impacting the innocent.

Slm924 wrote on February 12, 2017 at 7:02 am

Will they release the name of the victim?

Skepticity wrote on February 12, 2017 at 11:02 am

Urbana is a combat zone, and non-combatants are frequently at risk of injury or death.

This is not the same Urbana community in which I have lived for decades.

Why would anyone consider moving here or starting a business here?

Pointblank wrote on February 13, 2017 at 3:02 am
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"Why would anyone consider moving here or starting a business here?"

The crime reporting has had its intended effect again whereby "Urbana" is punished with a bad reputation thanks to the frequent mentions of recent shootings.  

Skepticity wrote on February 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Pretending that there are not ongoing instances of bullets flying in your neighborhood and in nearby neighborhoods is foolish.

Not informing the public would be foolish.

You cannot just ignore the problem and hope it goes away.

If you want, you could stop reading the articles so you could feel better.

My recommondeation is to be informed, be alert, be aware, and be safe.

Automan wrote on February 13, 2017 at 3:02 am
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These kids have no parenting. They are raised by wolves. There needs to be a twelve-step program for Gangsters Anonymous. 

Pointblank wrote on February 13, 2017 at 4:02 am
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"These kids have no parenting. They are raised by wolves."

The crime reporting has had its intended effect again.

Local Yocal wrote on February 13, 2017 at 4:02 am
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The News-Gazette's crime-related tendencies have attracted the attention of U of I Political Science and Communications Professor Scott Althaus, who supervised a team of undergraduate researchers from his Junior Honors Seminar and did a systematic analysis of The News-Gazette's coverage over a three-month period in 2015. 

The 8-person research team examined the race and gender of suspects reported by The News-Gazette, and compared The News-Gazette's crime coverage to the race and gender of suspects recorded in the arrest data from major law enforcement agencies in Champaign County, and the jail bookings data compiled by the Champaign County Sheriff's Department.

Their work showed The News-Gazette overrepresented black suspects in its news-coverage, and even more-so, that African-American suspects were overrepresented when The News-Gazette chose to run a mug shot to accompany a story.

 

Of the 327 crime suspects that appeared in The News-Gazette between June 1, 2015 to September 1, 2015, 35.8% were African-Americans, 11.9% were white, and the remaining 52.3% were descriptions of suspects where The News-Gazette did not indicate the race of the offender. While African-Americans were only 39.9% of the suspects arrested and 55.6% of those booked into the county jail, the pictures of black suspects were featured 67.5% of the time in The News-Gazette.

Bystander wrote on February 13, 2017 at 4:02 am
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Yeah, cry us a river, Yoddler. There is little patience and no time to waste with these gang bangers. Your liberal wimpering will do little in making sure dangerous people are locked up.

Skepticity wrote on February 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm

You brought this up before.

If I recall correctly the study did not differentiate between types of crimes and thus included the gross numbers of individuals arrested, many of whom were not incarcerated. The crime determines what happens when you are taken into custody. The nature of the crime determines if it warrants a news article.

Assuming that the disparity is race based and not behavior based is just the kind of assumption that undermines the validity of such studies. 

If my recollection is inaccurate, please offer a rebuttal and a link to the study.

Local Yocal wrote on February 17, 2017 at 10:02 am
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The research team "F.O.I.D.'d" for all arrests from the four police departments in the Champaign-Urbana metro area: Champaign County Sheriffi's Department, University of Illinois Police Department, Champaign Police Department and Urbana Police Department. What the class got, instead, was every single call police were on including all traffic stops and warning tickets. The total number of incidents between the three-month time frame came to 5,016. The research team divided the types of crimes and offenses into two types only- violent and non-violent, and arrived at a figure of 92% of the 5,016 police/citizen interactions were classified as non-violent offenses. According to their measurements, the News-Gazette presents violent crimes 7 times their actual occurance.

They arrived at their percentages for those in contact with law enforcement by booking data from the Sheriff's Department and arrest data from the police departments. They tracked the News-Gazette daily of course, using a PDF hardcopy version to arrive at their statistics about the News-Gazette.

You can peruse the data for yourself at this address:

https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/88667

The question of whether blacks commit most of the violent crimes was never addressed by this study. The study did not break down the racial demographic numbers for each type of crime.

 

ready for change wrote on February 17, 2017 at 4:02 pm

FOID = firearm owner's identification card

FOIA - Freedom of Information Act

 

Mef wrote on February 18, 2017 at 7:02 am

People do sure go off on tangents on these comments sections, but it was nice to see some response to what I said way back at the beginning of the comments.

I don't expect people to agree with everything I say. I certainly don't claim to have answers, especially when it comes to the influx of shootings, sadly many of them fatal, in this area. Reading the paper and seeing the stories of shootings that happen do seem to portray a lot of black men as the people responsible. My bias (OMG I'm admitting I'm biased) does sway toward "Wow, a lot of black men seem to have acquired guns with prior convictions that should disallow them to ever have guns. How is it that they seem to have very little problem acquiring these guns?"

Do I look at every black man in this society and think he/she is a criminal? Of course not. Do I look at every white person in society and think he/she is a criminal? Of course not. I have black coworkers, acquaintences and friends just as I have white coworkers, acquaintences and friends. Race does not make personality, individuals create their personality. Not everyone that meets me likes me just as I don't like everyone I meet. Personality clashes happen everyday with all of us in grocery stores, work interactions, etc., that make us say "Hope I don't see that person again." It's completely irrational to see a person in society and immediately think "Bet he's someone that shoots at people." I am glad that the News-Gazette does give us pictures to put with names of people that molest underage people, rob banks, steal tens of thousands from businesses, and shoot at people. The public has a right to know who these people are that make society less safe.

Would stronger gun enforcement bring that reality though that people are shooting at others in this area to a halt? Who knows. If you yourself had a prior felony and were not able to ever acquire a gun legally, and later in life after acquiring an illegal gun, discharged said gun and were arrested, would 5 years automatic sentence sway you to think twice before discharging the firearm? Would 10, or 15? I don't know where to draw the line at as I have no background in the legal profession. I do know that what we are doing know is certainly a flawed system that allows way too many people to serve very little time for what I consider to be about as serious of crime you can commit - shooting a gun with an attempt to end a life or severely injure someone. Removing the people that commit these crimes from society for long periods of time is certainly something I am in favor of changing. Living in the society we live in is a priviledge, and 99% of us can live in it peacefully everyday respecting the other people that are here. William Ayres disrespected that priviledge and society is better off without him in it.