Homicide

Warrant issued in deadly shooting at party on University of Illinois campus

University of Illinois students attend a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the deadly shooting.

University of Illinois students attend a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the deadly shooting.  (Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette via AP)

An arrest warrant for a first-degree murder charge has been issued for an 18-year-old Champaign man in the deadly shooting at a party near the University of Illinois campus, police said Wednesday.

Prosecutors say the suspect, Robbie Patton, was sentenced in April to eight months in prison after pleading guilty to firing a gun at an occupied vehicle but was instead sent to an Illinois Department of Corrections boot camp. Police believe he is still in the Champaign area and may be armed.

"Over our objections, he was approved for boot camp," Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said. "He completed that about three weeks ago."

Police said they are still investigating the shooting, which happened early Sunday, but believe only one person is responsible.

The shooting stemmed from a fight at a large party at an apartment in what is known as Campustown, the campus' main commercial district. The fight likely started after one woman spilled a drink on another, leading to a man being badly beaten by several other men, Rietz said. The man who was beaten has since been released from the hospital.

None of the four victims in the shooting were involved in the fight. George Korchev, a 22-year-old from Mundelein, was killed.

A second shooting that injured one person about a half-hour later several blocks west of campus and initially believed to be linked was not connected, police say.

Patton pleaded guilty in April to aggravated discharge of a firearm in a December 2015 shooting incident at a fast food restaurant.