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Police make arrest in fatal off-campus shooting

The Peoria Police Department and the Bradley University Police Department held a press conference yesterday at the Peoria Police Headquarters to discuss details of an April 11 arrest made in relation to the fatal off-campus April 8 shooting.

Nasjay Murry, an 18-year-old Bradley University freshman, and 22-year-old Peorian Anthony Polnitz were found dead at the scene when police arrived at 1821 W. Bradley Ave., where the shooting took place at a house party.

The press conference was led by PPD Acting Police Chief Loren Marion III. PPD Captain Michael Scally of the criminal investigation division and BUPD Chief Brian Joschko were also present.

“During the course of the investigation, detectives developed information that led to the identification of a 16-year-old male suspect,” Marion said. “Detectives were able to obtain an arrest warrant for this male for the offense of first degree murder.”

Police were able to locate the male suspect on the 2700 block of Trewyn Avenue, where an arrest was made at approximately 7:39 p.m. April 11, according to Marion.

“The male was subsequently arrested for the warrant and transported to a juvenile detention center,” Marion said. “Due to the age of the arrested, I cannot release any information regarding him.”

Though an arrest has been made, an active investigation remains ongoing. The case will now be turned over to the State Attorney’s Office for prosecution. The individual was charged in the killing of Polnitz, but other charges could be filed.

Campus was first notified of the incident when BUPD sent out a safety alert via email at 2:29 a.m. April 8. The alert stated, “At approximately 1:44 a.m., Bradley University Police and City of Peoria Police responded to a report of a shooting off campus in the 1800 block of W. Bradley Avenue, near the intersection of N. Western Avenue.”

During an April 9 press conference, Scally provided additional details on the incident, stating it took place at a party that had been advertised through social media.

“People from the Peoria area, as well as Bradley University students, went to attend,” Scally said. “Approximately 100 people were seen leaving from the area. Officers tried to identify as many as they could leaving.”

Additionally, Scally said another Bradley student suffered a gunshot wound to their hand during the incident. The student received medical attention from a nearby hospital and has been released, according to an April 8 university press release.

No calls or complaints were placed to PPD or BUPD from the location of the incident prior to the shooting, according to Scally.

“We had not received any calls to that house,” Scally said. “As a matter of fact, checking the back history for that house for the last year, we had not had calls of trouble at that house at all.”

Scally said though the shooting took place near campus and involved a Bradley student, he does not believe there are any additional threats to the Bradley community.

“I don’t believe at this time that there is a reason to be on edge,” Scally said. “I don’t believe Bradley University is targeted. I don’t believe there [are] any other individuals that I know of that are targeted at this time.”

According to Scally, 13 cell phones were recovered from inside or just outside the residence that people abandoned while leaving the scene. Scally said that anyone who may think their cell phone may have been left at the residence can come to the Peoria Police Department to pick it up. Joschko said in an April 9 campus-wide email that other items were left at the scene and can be picked up at BUPD.

Joschko said that those with information or who were in attendance before or during the shooting can share what they know with BUPD or Peoria Police. BUPD can be reached 309-677-2000 and the Peoria Police can be reached at 309-673-4521.

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