Teen Charged In Freeport's 4th Murder of Year

FREEPORT - A 16 year old is charged with first degree murder.
UPDATE: The Stephenson County State's Attorney's Office charged 16 year-old, Traveontaye Berry with 1st degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm.

FREEPORT - Gun shots rang out 11:30 Wednesday night on the corner of Empire St and Float Ave.  Neighbors, like David Fisher, say there hasn't been a crime problem in this part of town until recently:  “It just seems to me that it's getting out of hand a little bit.  You know, how many shootings have we had in the last year?"

This is the fourth murder in Freeport this year.  And friends describe this latest victim as a kind man.  Celestine Allan says, “He was a very special friend to me."

According to neighbors, the altercation began in a nearby alleyway. The 30 year old that suffered the gunshot wound was found by police across the street lying on the ground.  Deputb Chief James Drehoble says the suspect tried to make a run for it, “An officer saw a 16 year old male run from that location and he was detained."

The State Attorney’s office will decide how and when to charge the minor.   Friends and family didn't learn of the Freeport man's death until Thursday morning.  Allen explains, “I was walking down to my friend's house and they told me that he had got killed and it hurt in my heart."

Officials are trying to combat the crime problem by tearing down abandoned houses, which are hotbeds for violence.  But in the end Fisher says it’s everyone’s responsibility to report crime: “People see things, hear things, and don't wanna say nothing."

The victim was transported to Freeport Memorial Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
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