Ellis Heights Neighborhood

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

Three weeks ago, 35-year-old Tyrone Dowthard was murdered on the street as his sister watched. Police are still searching for a suspect. Dowthard's family and residents throughout the area say they're tired of the senseless violence.

"That wasn't meant for Tyrone, it wasn't. It wasn't meant for him," says Dowthard's widow, Lavetta.

Lavetta Dowthard is still struggling to comprehend her husband's death; a family man, a loving father of four murdered in front of his sister's house while trying to plan a block party.

"I didn't get to see his eyes or nothing because his face was covered by a bandana, and he told him to stick his hands up and he shot him," says Dowthard's sister, Karen.

Karen moved to the area three years ago, and the violence, she says, is everywhere.

"In the last three years I've seen more than I've seen in the last 10 years," says Karen Dowthard.

Neighborhood Watch president Glendell Parham says the area is infected with drugs and gang violence.

"It's awful, it's bad, no sleep, you can't go to sleep with the loud music, the shooting, it's awful," says Parham.

But Parham and many local residents are hopeful that the Weed and Seed Program will continue to place more attention on the area's problems.

"If we can get our community more active and have more things to do, then it might stop more violence and crime that's going on, because if they have nothing to do they're just going to shoot for nothing," say resident Kenyatta Brown.

"It's a shame you can't sit on out in your own yard and enjoy yourself these days. That's a shame," says Karen Dowthard.

Rockford police are still searching for a suspect in Tyrone Dowthard's death. The shooting happened on May 23, a day before the couple's ninth wedding anniversary. If you have any information about the shooting, please call Crimestoppers.


23 WIFR 2523 North Meridian Road Rockford, IL. 61101 Business: 815-987-5300 Fax: 815-965-0981 News: 815-987-5330 Fax: 815-987-5333
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