Illinois mother shoots victim advocates for license plate cameras

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – The mother of a gunshot victim is advocating for license plate reading cameras after the Urbana community decided not to use them.

Liam Gasser was shot in the head last month at a busy intersection in Champaign after what police called a road rage incident. No one has been arrested and authorities have said they are looking for a black Chevy Equinox.

Terry Von Thaden has said she strongly advocates the use of license plate cameras. She said at the moment that they had no useful evidence in their case.

But she said if they had this technology, someone might already be behind bars. You will recall that 24-year-old Liam Gasser was driving to buy supplies for his Halloween costume when witnesses said the driver of a black Chevy Equinox cut him off and honked his horn. Gasser’s mother said the Equinox driver pulled over next to him and someone shot him in the head.

He has been in hospital since and is paralyzed from neck to toe. Von Thaden said the violence has not stopped.

She said that one afternoon she heard what she thought were fireworks. Until Urbana police come to his door and ask for pictures from his ring camera to help solve the crime. And she said she was visiting her son at Carle Hospital when a 28-year-old man was shot outside and was unable to enter.

She said in her letter that there is technology to help solve and even prevent these crimes, including license plate readers, but she said cities like Urbana that have just denied readers are forcing the police to use old-fashioned investigative approaches.

The city of Champaign is still considering whether or not to install these cameras.

Many people call this an invasion of privacy. Von Thaden said that if you have a phone, credit card, email, or use social media, your information is already in a database somewhere.

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