Mother of Illinois shooting victim advocates for license plate cameras

Regional News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – The mother of a shooting victim is advocating for license plate-reading cameras after the Urbana community decided against them.

Liam Gasser was shot in the head last month at a busy Champaign intersection after what police called a road rage incident. No one has been arrested, and authorities said they’re looking for a black Chevy Equinox.

Terry Von Thaden said she highly advocates for the use of license plate cameras. She said right now they have no useful evidence in their case.

But she said if they had this technology, someone could already be behind bars. You’ll remember 24-year-old Liam Gasser was driving to get material for his Halloween costume when witnesses said the driver of a black Chevy Equinox cut him off, and he honked his horn. Gasser’s mother said the driver of the Equinox pulled up beside him, and someone shot him in the head.

He’s been in the hospital ever since and is paralyzed from the neck down. Von Thaden said the violence hasn’t stopped.

She said one afternoon she heard what she thought was fireworks. Until, Urbana police came to her door and asked for her ring camera footage to help solve the crime. And she said she was visiting her son at Carle Hospital when a 28-year-old was shot outside and she couldn’t get in.

She said in her letter that there is technology out there to help solve and even prevent these crimes, including license plate readers, but she said cities like Urbana that just denied the readers are forcing police to use old fashioned investigative approaches.

The city of Champaign is still considering whether to install these cameras or not.

Several people call it an invasion of privacy. Von Thaden said if you own a phone, credit card, have an email, or use social media, your information is already in a database somewhere.

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