Mundelein man who was shot in Champaign was visiting friends
The 22-year-old Mundelein man who was fatally shot near the University of Illinois campus was in Champaign visiting friends before he was scheduled to start a new job, his girlfriend's mother said Monday.
Mundelein Trustee Dawn Abernathy said she got to know George Korchev while he was dating her daughter, Akaysha, who was supposed to have been in Champaign with Korchev last weekend.
Abernathy said she met Korchev in March and will miss laughing with him.
"He had a great sense of humor and wanted to make sure everyone around him was having a good time," she said. "He had just gone down to visit friends and this happens."
Champaign police said Monday they were still searching for Korchev's killer and reviewing surveillance video from the area of the fatal shooting on the 300 block of East Green Street, and a second shooting that happened about 30 minutes later on the 700 block of South State Street.
Police said Korchev was walking in the area of Green Street about 12:38 a.m. Sunday when the shooting occurred. Police said the shooting stemmed from an altercation in an apartment at an off-campus party, but Korchev was not involved and was considered a bystander.
He was pronounced dead at 1:02 a.m. at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. Four other people suffered gunshot wounds, and another person was struck by a vehicle while running from the gunfire.
Friends and classmates of Korchev recalled him as someone who was always smiling and cared deeply about his family and friends. He had recently passed his nursing board exam and was scheduled to start Monday as a registered nurse at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
"You could see through what he chose to do with his life, he just always wanted to help people," Abernathy said.
In the past several months of getting to know Korchev, Abernathy said she learned he was born in Ukraine and moved to the United States in search of a better future for Korchev and his sister. He was 7 years old at the time, she said.
Korchev received his associate in applied science in nursing degree from College of Lake County in December 2015.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with George's family and friends at this very difficult time," CLC President Jerry Weber said.
The Illinois Student Senate will hold a public vigil for the victims at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Main Quad on the University of Illinois campus.