FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — 36-year-old Terrance Haynes and 32-year-old Justin Capp were shot to death on a Freeport street Thursday night, and now community leaders are begging for an end to violence.
“I don’t want to see anyone getting hurt or seeing how it affects people’s families and stuff, but just in general, it’s even harder when you know them. One minute they’re here, the next they’re not, over something senseless,” said community activist Walter Hayward.
Hayward knew Haynes personally and says he served as a mentor to him.
“It’s heartbreaking. He was a young man. And not only was he a young man, he was a father. So now, this kid has to grow up fatherless. It’s a cycle. It was for nothing. He had nothing to do with it,” Hayward said.
Hayward added that Haynes was well known for his love of basketball, and had planned to be part of a community basketball game next month against the Freeport Police Department.
“Recently, violence has been taken to an extreme level,” said Police Chief Matt Summers. “There’ve been [shootings] where there’s no regard for human life or who may be the intended target.”
Summer says there is no evidence yet to say whether Haynes and Capp were the intended targets.
“Over the past few months, the Freeport Police Department has increased patrols in targeted areas, where shootings have occurred. We’ve worked closely with the [Stephenson County] Sheriff’s Department and the state police,” Summer said.
Hayward hopes something will happen to deter a rising wave of shootings in Freeport and nationwide.
“One of the first things that needs to be done, I personally believe, is we need to focus on some way of funding these camera and lights in those communities,” he said. “Hopefully, we get to the point that his passing, and the other people’s passing, was not in vain. Something positive can come out of this somehow, some way, so we can really stop the violence that’s going on here.”
Hayward says he plans to host a community forum so residents can share their concerns.