CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A suburban Chicago man shot dead as he was walking by a fight on the University of Illinois campus over the weekend was to start a career as a registered nurse on Monday.
George Korchev, 22, of Mundelein, was killed early Sunday in one of a pair of shootings in Champaign. He was shot when a fight broke out at a party on campus where three others suffered non-critical wounds, while a fourth person was shot and injured a half-hour later a few blocks west of campus.
Police said the two shootings may be related and that none of the victims, who include a University of Illinois student, was involved in the violence. Officers are searching for suspects.
Korchev recently passed his nursing board exam, said officials with Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where Korchev was a patient care tech.
“George was a valuable team member who was loved by his patients and known as a skilled, empathetic and selfless caregiver,” said the hospital’s president, Dominica Tallarico.
University of Illinois Chancellor Robert J. Jones said in an email to campus that a public vigil is planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday on the Main Quad to support the shooting victims. It will include a moment of silence and speeches from campus leaders.
“None of these victims was even involved in the incident or attended the party that started it all,” Jones wrote. “They were bystanders caught in a senseless act of violence.”
Korchev’s friend since middle school, Joey Grant, said Korchev decided to become a nurse because he cared for his grandfather at home. He said Korchev was in Champaign visiting a friend at the University of Illinois.
“He was always looking out for everybody,” Grant said. “He was just a great person. He was just very happy and very bubbly.”