'Things got pretty exciting': Tuesday incident was 19th ‘shots fired’ call in July

Quincy police detectives investigate the scene of a shooting near Eighth and York Tuesday morning. | H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt
Posted: Jul. 28, 2015 10:36 am Updated: Aug. 11, 2015 10:36 am
Quincy police rope off an alley near Eighth and York Tuesday morning as they investigate a shooting incident. | H-W Photo/Don O'Brien

Staff Writer | 217-221-3370 | @DOBrienWHIG

QUINCY — Tuesday morning started off like any other for Jim Elder, owner of Elder Auto Body at 814 York.

He was working inside the garage near the southeast corner of Eighth and York when he saw a scuffle start in the alley to the east of his business.
Elder said he didn’t think much of the situation as he went to the west of his building to grab some parts out of his truck. That’s when the silence of the morning was shattered by the sound of gunshots.

“I heard three rounds go off,” Elder said Tuesday as Quincy police canvassed the scene around his garage. “I came back around the corner, and a black car was headed (the wrong way down York). I saw a young black guy running across the street over there. Things got pretty exciting.

“It was over by the time I came around the corner. They were all too worried about getting out of Dodge.”

Click here to view a gallery of photos from the shooting scene.

Deputy Chief Doug VanderMaiden said a 17-year-old boy was taken to Blessing Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries as the result of the shooting. He was treated and released from Blessing on Tuesday. His name was not released. Police were still searching for suspects on Tuesday and had not announced any arrests by 4:30 p.m. Quincy police said the shooting did not appear to be a random act.

Tuesday’s incident was the 19th shots fired call that Quincy police have responded to during July, according to department statistics.

One man died and another was seriously injured in a July 4 shooting in the 600 block of College. Gavin J. Masters, 18, is being held in the Adams County Jail on first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder charges. He is alleged to have killed Randy Bowser-Smith, 21, and injured Skyler Osborne, 21. Bowser-Smith was pronounced dead at Blessing Hospital shortly after the shooting and police said Osborne is paralyzed from the chest down as the result of his injuries.

VanderMaiden said the initial call about a disturbance near Eighth and York came in at 10:02 a.m. He said as officers were responding, they received a report that shots had been fired and a victim had been transported to Blessing Hospital by a private vehicle.

Three Quincy police detectives were on the scene collecting evidence and looking over the scene until 11:05 a.m. York Street, a one-way eastbound street, stayed open during the investigation.

Elder was one of two people who spoke to police and said they heard three shots. Another man, who asked not to be identified, said he also heard the shots just after he drove past the shooting scene. He said a black car was following him and stopped at the scene. He said he saw a man jump out of the vehicle before the shooting. 

The shooting took place three blocks south of Quincy’s City Hall and near a convenience store. Elder has operated his business at the location for 25 years. He said the neighborhood has been deteriorating.

“Any more, it’s getting more and more interesting around here,” Elder said. “Over the last 10 years, it has changed a lot down here. There are constantly fights and those kinds of things down here. It’s too bad, really. Settling it with a weapon is kind of petty. If you ain’t enough of a man to stand there and get our own licks in and take some, it’s kind of cowardly.”