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Carbondale police, city manager say they’re committed to solving shooting that left SIU student dead, 3 others injured

Published: Aug. 22, 2021 at 3:42 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2021 at 3:29 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - A Southern Illinois University student was shot an killed while attending a party in Carbondale.

The victims were identified as 18-year-old Keeshanna Jackson, of Chicago; 29-year-old Jyrin Blair, of Marion; 23-year-old Raheem Sylas, of Murphysboro; and a juvenile from Marion.

On Tuesday, police said they continue to actively investigate the shooting, along with SIU Carbondale Department of Public Safety and other law enforcement agencies.

“The Carbondale Police Department is working tirelessly to solve this case,” said Police Chief Stan Reno. “I plead for anyone with information to come forward and assist with bringing justice to Keeshanna and her family. Furthermore, I call for an end to the violence in the City as we strive to provide a safe environment for all Carbondale citizens and visitors. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the State’s Attorney’s Office to hold offenders accountable.”

City Manager Gary Williams said the city is committed to thoroughly investigating the incident.

“We hope to bring accountability and justice to those responsible for this senseless crime,” he said. “Our thoughts are also with the three victims who sustained non-life-threatening injuries and we wish them speedy recoveries. Carbondale is a great city and we are saddened by the careless acts of few that have impacted so many others.”

On Sunday, August 22, Carbondale police were called to a home on the 500 block of West Cherry Street at 3:12 a.m. for a report of shots fired.

When officers arrived they found one gunshot victim and attempted to resuscitate the individual. The victim, identified as Keeshanna Jackson, was later pronounced dead at a Carbondale hospital.

According to police, while they were at the hospital, three other victims came into the emergency department on their own from the same location.

Police said they were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries. They said those victims were not associated with SIU.

According to Carbondale Police Chief Stan Reno on Monday, one of them is out of the hospital.

According to police on Monday, they believe there were multiple active shooters. They do not have any additional suspect information at this time.

Family and friends held a vigil and balloon release for Jackson at SIU on Sunday night.

KeeShanna Jackson was killed early Sunday.
KeeShanna Jackson was killed early Sunday.(Kaszha Jackson)

They said she had just graduated high school and was enrolled as a freshman at SIU to learn how to professionally expand her nail business.

“She meant the world, that was like my right hand man,” Gakyla Mayo said. “She would call me all the time, I would call her. She called me with her problems, I called her with my problems. Now it’s like she’s gone and who else am I going to talk to about that type of stuff with.”

Hundreds of people attended the vigil.

“We will always be goofy together, I love you bro for real, I do. I love you so much,” Javi Boyd said.

Family, friends and members of the community remembered Jackson and supported one another.

Jackson’s sister, Kaszha Jackson, said KeeShanna loved to dance and she could brighten up anybody’s day.

“It means a lot to me that everybody came out and showed their support and did a balloon release for her. I appreciate that everybody came out too,” Gakyla Mayo said.

Police ask anyone who attended the party or has information about the shooting to call Carbondale Police Department at 618-549-2121 or Crime Stoppers at 618-549-COPS.

Chief Reno said they are actively looking for suspect information. He said it’s important to get answers or closure for the family.

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