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Coroner identifies 18-year-old Decatur shooting victim

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DECATUR — An initial autopsy report says a man found shot inside a Decatur restaurant on Friday night died from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen and groin.

The Macon County coroner's office identified the victim as 18-year-old Decatur resident Curtis T. Hairston.

Hairston was pronounced dead at 7:06 p.m. Friday night at Decatur Memorial Hospital, less than two hours after police arrived at Long John Silver's, 701 W. Eldorado St., in response to a report of a shooting. Officers found Hairston inside the restaurant.

Police on Saturday said they would not provide the identity or update the condition of a second male shooting victim, who was transported to HSHS St. Mary's Hospital from the scene of the shooting, and later airlifted to HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield with life-threatening injuries.

A day after the incident, nearby residents were shaken by the news of a shooting so close to their doorsteps.

"That's the first time we've known about any kind of shooting or anything around here, it's kind of scary," said Roseanne Sherrerd, who lives on North Mercer Street. Sherrerd said her son believes he heard shots Friday night while he was at home, but wasn't sure what the sounds were.

"He couldn't figure out at first, he thought it might've been a car backfiring," she said. "I saw lights shining through the front window" at the time of the incident, "and there were emergency vehicles everywhere."

Daniel Decesaro, who moved with his wife to a home on West North Street near the Long John Silver's just last year, said news of the shooting was shocking. "This area really hasn't been too bad."

Hairston's death is the second Decatur homicide of 2019. Police arrested 22-year-old Billiejo L. Soyster on New Year's Day in the fatal stabbing of her 38-year-old boyfriend, David W. Murray.

Police said Murray died after Soyster thrust a broken piece of glass into his chest following an argument that she said had "turned physical." She faces a preliminary charge of first-degree murder; preliminary charges are subject to review by the Macon County State's Attorney's Office. 

Seven people were shot to death in Decatur last year, and two died of stab wounds, according to previous police reports.

Police said in November that 12-year-old Marqueius N. Gray was shot accidentally. In another of the shooting deaths, murder charges were dropped against Alexander L. Boey after prosecutors said they found evidence that the victim, Bernard Norvell, shot first.

Contact Tom Lisi at (217) 421-6949. Follow him on Twitter: @tommylisi


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