PEORIA — A triple shooting at an underage drinking party was related to a drug debt, Peoria County Sheriff Michael McCoy said on Wednesday.
The sheriff said the party, which was advertised on social media, attracted Ryan C.S. Miller and Steve M. Covington, both 19, who allegedly approached the gathering looking for a specific individual about a drug debt. At some point late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, Miller allegedly opened fire into the crowd, striking three teens with no connection to the drug debt — two of whom are 17 and one of whom is 18 — in the legs, causing what police have called non life-threatening injuries.
Officials didn’t learn about the party until after the victims were taken to area hospitals.
Both Miller and Covington, were booked into the jail on charges of mob action on Tuesday. Miller faces additional charges of reckless conduct and aggravated discharge of a firearm. Both are expected to be in court Thursday.
While the two sit in the Peoria County Jail awaiting formal charging, McCoy has said he plans on talking to the owner of the land. The sheriff said empty beer cans and marijuana was found on the property which is located in the 2900 block of West Murphy Road. The party was held well off the main road and McCoy said the property owner didn’t live near that section of the land.
“We would have no reason to go back there and check. There are a lot of places in the county where they have parties and gather. There are certain areas that we know are party areas and we cut down on them. But if we are busy and we have calls all night, then we can’t look for parties like this.”
And that’s why he wants parents to stay involved and to be responsible by keeping their kids away from such events.
Follow your curfew
In the wake of the shootings early Tuesday in rural Hanna City and discussion at the Peoria City Council meeting that evening, the Peoria Police Department is reminding parents and teens to be aware of the city’s curfew ordinance and hours.
Kids 12 and younger: Between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Ages 13 to 16: 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday; midnight to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Teens who have learner’s permits or hold a Graduated Driver’s License (ages 16-17) also face restrictions on when they may operate motor vehicles.
Driving not allowed between: 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday; 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Correction: This story was updated May 26 to reflect the following correction. The shooting victims had nothing to do with the drug debt and had no face-to-face confrontation with the alleged shooters.