UPDATE: Autopsy finding released amid call for men to step up following Peoria’s latest homicide

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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UPDATE (7:15 p.m.) - Peoria homicide victim Roger Browder died from a single gunshot wound, according to autopsy results released Monday evening by Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood.

The location of the gunshot wound and other information are being withheld pending the ongoing police investigation, Harwood said in a statement.

PEORIA (WEEK) - 21-year-old Roger Browder died on North Bigelow Street. Nearly all of North Bigelow was celebrating graduation Saturday afternoon when neighbors said they saw a car cornered by another car and saw Browder shot multiple times.

“Right after it happened, the first thing I thought about was rounding up my kids and getting them to safety,” Resident James Jones said.

Browder was found dead on the scene by Peoria police. The shooting happened just one block from Peoria high school - during their graduation. One family celebrating their middle school graduate was still shaken from tragedy.

“You’re scared your kids could walk away from here and never come back home,” Jones said.

Resident James Jones said he believed the community needed to come together to guide the young men that were committing the crimes.

“We need more brothers, we need more uncles, we need more men to talk to these kids,” Jones said.

Long-time resident Cortez Blake echoed the idea - but he’d stay put despite the violence and he would be a positive role model.

“We as men need to be around our young people more, not just your own kids but everybody’s kids,” Blake said

Cortez said as a young man he had more opportunities to stay out of trouble and believed the youth in Peoria today did not.

“When I was growing up there was plenty of jobs for me to go to so I never needed a gang load of people to run with to make things safe for me,” Blake said.

The shooting happened just a few feet away from Peoria high - during their graduation ceremony. As of now, the events are not connected. We reached out to the school for comment but they declined due to the ongoing investigation.

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