Violent crime in Rockford surges, six murdered since March

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Forest City has seen a spike in violent crime recently, as Rockford Police say 6 people have been murdered since March.

The latest happened Wednesday night at the ‘Way Low’ Citgo gas station on W. State St, where a 34-year-old man was killed and four others were shot.

Also in the last 24 hours, a gang member shot at a police officer and 5 teen gang members, including a 15-year-old, were arrested after a standoff.

Police Chief Dan O’Shea said social distancing is affecting how officers are able to form vital relationships within the community.

“The pandemic and social distancing orders definitely affect what we do, especially with the youth of the community,” O’Shea said. “And, we’re coming into summertime, where we usually hold summer camps and a lot of programs for kids, and quite honestly, we’re not going to be able to do it this summer. And that hurts, because that’s Rockford’s future.”

O’Shea says COVID-19 restrictions have also impacted the police department’s ability to work with the public to solve crimes. He encourages anyone with information on any of the recent crimes to reach out to his office.

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