CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WICS/WCCU) — A Champaign Police officer has died, another is injured, and a suspect has died in a shootout Wednesday morning.
At approximately 3:24 a.m. on Wednesday, May 19, Champaign Police responded to Town Center Apartments, located in the 2400 block of North Neil Street, for a reported domestic disturbance.
At the scene, two Champaign Police officers exited their vehicles.
The Champaign Police Department said the preliminary investigation indicates that the officers encountered an armed suspect.
Then, gunfire was exchanged.
The suspect, later identified as 24-year-old Darion M. Lafayette of Champaign, was fatally wounded.
Lafayette was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:40 a.m.
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Both officers sustained gunshot wounds in the shooting.
One of the officers who was shot is stable.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said the second officer, 44-year-old Christopher Oberheim, was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana at 6:03 a.m. Wednesday.
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A police procession followed the body of Officer Oberheim from Carle Hospital.
Oberheim began his career with the Champaign Police Department in September 2008 after beginning his law enforcement career with the Decatur Police Department.
Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb released this statement on Oberheim's death:
"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart I announce Champaign Police Officer Chris Oberheim, 44, badge number 703, passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty. Officer Oberheim was struck by gunfire while responding to a domestic disturbance. His only intention was to serve, protect and help provide care before he was senselessly fired upon and killed.
"Officer Oberheim joined the Champaign Police Department in September 2008 after beginning his career with the Decatur Police Department. A true professional and devoted public servant, Officer Oberheim is remembered for his heroism, bravery, and the oath of office he honorably upheld in his commitment to duty.
"The Champaign Police Department, and the entire City of Champaign organization, expresses its deepest condolences to Officer Oberheim’s family, friends and loved ones. I also want to express my care and support for all members of the Champaign Police Department who are mourning the passing of their friend and colleague.
"We ask that Officer Oberheim’s family, and other Champaign Police Officers’ and their families’ privacy be respected during this difficult time."
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Autopsies for Lafayette and Oberheim will be performed on Thursday, May 20.
Illinois State Police is leading the investigation into this shooting, with assistance from the Urbana Police Department, Champaign County Sheriff's Office, University of Illinois Police Department, Champaign County Coroner's Office, and the Champaign County State's Attorney's Office.
To report information on this shooting, contact the Champaign Police Department at 217-351-4545 or Champaign County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 217-373-8477, online at 373tips.com, or via the P3 Tips mobile app.