Peoria Police say four local high school students were shot early Saturday morning, one of them fatally.
Officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert In the 2300 block of North Flora Avenue at 1:49 a.m. While responding to the shots fired call, two more calls were received. One caller stated that there were two victims with gunshot wounds at a home in the 2400 block of North Flora Avenue, and the other caller stated there was a gunshot victim in the 2400 block of North Ellis Street.
Police checked both locations and located two juvenile male victims in the 2400 block of North Flora Avenue, and one juvenile male victim in the 2400 block of North Ellis Street. All three victims were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
While on the scene, officers determined that the shootings occurred at a different residence in the 2400 block of North Flora Avenue, where they found a non-responsive juvenile male outside the home. 14-year-old Tommie T. Forest III of Peoria was pronounced dead at the scene by Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll.
Forest was a freshman at Peoria High School. The three other victims are sophomores at the school. Three of the four, including Forest, are members of the school’s football team.
“Today’s news is devastating for our District, students, and staff,” said interim Superintendent Dr. Sharon Desmouslin-Kherat. “My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of these students, and as a District, we will work diligently to provide the support that is needed for the individuals impacted within our schools.”
Saturday’s freshman/sophomore football game was canceled, as was the boys’ soccer game. District 150 says a crisis team was made available to athletes Saturday, and will also be available Monday. When school resumes Tuesday, following the Columbus Day holiday, crisis teams will also be available for students and staff at multiple schools.
“In addition to counseling support, we will provide extra security at Manual Academy and Peoria High School on Tuesday,” said Desmoulin-Kherat. “This is a senseless and unnecessary situation that happened within our community, and our students and staff deserve to feel safe and supported as they return to school.”
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call Peoria Police at 673-4521 or CrimeStoppers at 673-9000.