Springfield police responded to a shooting at a local gas station Thursday afternoon, just two days before a city-wide festival against violence is set to take place.
A shooting was reported outside the Sunoco station at the corner of East Street and Selma Road at around 12 p.m. The Springfield News-Sun was on scene and saw a man being loaded onto a medic. He appeared alert.
The shooting took place across the street from the old Keifer Academy school building — now known as the School of Innovation.
More information regarding the shooting was not available Thursday. Officials at the scene opted not to speak to the media and it’s unclear if anyone was arrested in the incident.
It’s at least the second shooting in Springfield this week. On Tuesday, Springfield police responded to Whities Tavern where a patron said the bar owner took a shot at him.
Springfield had seen a spike in homicides in the first half of the year. Springfield police had investigated 11 suspected homicides, just one less than the division did in all of 2017. Meetings have been held by the Springfield NAACP and rallies calling for justice in unsolved murders have also taken place throughout the last couple of months.
On Saturday, faith-based connected rallies called Flood Springfield and JoyFest aim to spread happiness throughout the community and to call for an end of violence.
“We are specifically targetting the five worst districts in Springfield,” Micah Level, an organizer of the events said. “We got a map from our prosecuting attorney Andy Wilson. We are going to be using that map and going into those areas. Drug, crime and all of that combined. Basically, where they get the most calls.”
About 100 members of 12 Springfield churches will go into these neighborhoods and invite residents to JoyFest where a Christian message will be shared.