Belvidere Gang Unit Increasing Presence

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BELVIDERE (WIFR) – The Stateline’s Integrity Task Force is investigating an officer involved shooting after police tell us a Boone County Sheriff’s Deputy shot one of four murder suspects Saturday.

Detectives believe 19-year-old Giovannie Galicia was fatally shot by the men while sitting in a car on Lake Shore Drive in Belvidere. The Sheriff’s Department then started chasing the suspect’s car into Rockford where we’re told they shot one of the men in the leg. He’s expected to be okay.

Police say one of those suspects, Anthony Perez, is a known gang member.

More officers from the gang unit are hitting the streets once again, especially on Belvidere’s northwest side where the murder happened. Police say when it gets cold, gang members usually stay inside, so the unit doesn’t spend as much time out on the streets, but now they will be.

Investigators say they believe the alleged shooter Perez and the others in the car were out looking for trouble early Saturday morning. Although police say the victim, Giovannie Galacia was also a known gang member, officers aren’t sure he was specifically targeted. The gang unit works year round taking a proactive approach to keep gang members from starting trouble in Belvidere and despite the murder, many feel the units hard work is paying off.

"When you look at the big picture and see what has already been stopped, yes, things are going to happen, things that they just don't have any control of, but if things were not put in place as they have been you'd be reading a lot more about more violence in Belvidere,” said Belvidere resident Greg Kelm.

Although Perez turned himself in on Saturday night, police believe it was the ard work by detectives and the gang unit that forced him to come out of hiding.

The suspect shot by police remains in the hospital.


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