Quincy man dies in gang-related incident in Peoria

Posted: Apr. 10, 2013 11:16 am Updated: Apr. 24, 2013 12:15 pm

PEORIA, Ill. -- A 25-year Quincy man was killed early Tuesday morning in what Peoria police are saying was a gang-related incident.

The Peoria Journal Star reported Brandon L. Thomas, 25, of Quincy, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday after being found behind a house in the 1500 block of Howett Street.

The newspaper reported Peoria police are targeting two South Peoria gangs in the Don't Shoot campaign after a rash of violence left three men dead and at least one wounded since Friday.

Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard spoke to reporters Tuesday afternoon. He vowed a swift response to the shootings, saying his department would flood the neighborhood where they occurred to put out the growing "brush fire." And the chief said meetings were planned with other police departments, along with federal and state prosecutors, to determine what the next step would be to combat the violence.

He warned people in the area that they will see more police and could possibly be stopped as officers step up their patrols, but said it was temporary and only to protect the community.

Settingsgaard spoke directly to the members of the two street gangs -- Zone 4 and 4-Corner Hustlers -- which he estimated to be about 50 to 100 people.