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After Weekend Homicide, Denise Jackson Seeks Changes at MacArthur Highway Shell Gas Station

MacArthur Highway
Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio
MacArthur Highway at John Gwynn, with the MacArthur Shell sign seen in the distance.

The murder of Joshua Perkins on Sunday night is raising renewed concerns about activities at the MacArthur Highway Shell gas station.

First District Councilmember Denise Jackson says she, along with other Peoria officials, reached out to the owner of the gas station with several recommendations to tamp down on drug trafficking and other crimes happening in the area.

Some of their main requests include closing the facility during the overnight hours, hiring better security, eliminating litter, and chaining barricades at all parking lot entrances during closing hours.

Jackson believes these adjustments will take care of many of the safety concerns citizens have about this particular gas station.

"It has become a chronic nuisance in the neighborhood, affecting quality of life for hundreds of people who live in that area," Jackson said. "We just want to send a message that we won't tolerate this."

The owner of the MacArthur Plaza has a $64,000 fine, due to his refusal to show up in court for numerous citations. He is additionally facing a $10,000 bill for unpaid storm water utility fees.

Right now, Jackson said the focus is to give the owner of the Plaza an opportunity to respond to the murder and to ensure safety for the residents.

In addition, Jackson is sending her condolences out to the family of Joshua Perkins. 18-year-old Arenza Brown and a 17-year-old juvenile male are charged with his murder.

"My prayer and hope is that people will value life. And I just pray and hope individuals will stop to think before they act, and realize, we can all work and live together," Jackson said. "We just have to respect each other, even in our differences."

Until there is an agreement between Peoria officials and the owners to ensure security for the residents in the MacArthur Highway corridor, Jackson said she will not rest. She is hopeful the owner will respond by Monday, May 17.

When contacted for comment, the Shell station owner said there was a bad phone connection, but would call back. Subsequent attempts to contact the owner were unsuccessful.

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Jordan Mead is a reporting intern at WCBU. She joined the station in 2021.