A 27-year-old man was shot last night while standing in the alley in the 1500 block of W. Jonquil. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital and is listed in “stable” condition. According to police, the victim is a documented gang member.
This was the latest in a recent uptick of gang-related shooting incidents in Rogers Park. Since October 13th, ten people have been shot in six separate incidents.
Three people were wounded in a shooting on October 29th in the 1500 block of W. Morse and a man was shot on October 23rd while at the Shell gas station at Sheridan and Touhy. According to police, the victims in all three incidents have gang affiliations. Police believe the three incidents are related to an ongoing dispute between rival factions of the same gang.
Police believe an internal dispute in another gang is responsible for three other shooting incidents, including an October 13th incident in which three men were shot in the 2000 block of W. Howard, an October 21st incident in which a man was shot in the 1900 block of N. Birchwood and an October 27th incident in which a man was shot in the 6700 block of N. Ridge. According to police, the victims in each of these incidents are affiliated with the same street gang.
Roberto Nieves, who keeps me updated on the policing strategies he is initiating in response to the shootings. He has received and deployed additional police resources in the areas where police believe possible retaliatory shootings may occur. Some of the shootings may have been captured by video cameras and police detectives are currently reviewing the footage for possible suspects and leads.
Commander Nieves tells me police just yesterday arrested a leading member of one of the street gangs for possessing an illegal weapon. Because the individual arrested was already facing a gun charge on a previous case, Commander Nieves believes he will be incarcerated and off the streets for an extended period of time.
I’ve arranged for City Bureau of Forestry crews to trim trees around police cameras to guarantee they have a clear view of the area and Commander Nieves and I are working with building owners to install cameras and additional lighting in some of the troubled areas. Commander Nieves also has prevailed upon a building owner and social service agency to relocate a tenant who police have reason to believe may have been involved in one of the shootings.
Finally, Commander Nieves continued this week his innovative “custom notification”initiative where he meets with suspected gang members and their family members at their homes. Commander Nieves is joined by a social service provider and together they review the gang member’s criminal record, warn him that he faces additional severe penalties if he continues his criminal lifestyle and offers to make available socials service resources, such as job training and GED courses, if the gang member makes a commitment to refrain from criminal activity and instead choose a positive path with his life.
The Commander tells me that one of the visits has already produced results. After meeting with the Commander, the mother of one of the gang members agreed to send her son to stay with relatives in another distant state.
Until the recent uptick in violence, shooting incidents in Rogers Park had been down significantly this year as compared to the same period last year. With the recent spate of shootings, Rogers Park has experienced roughly the same number of shootings so far this year as compared to last year (28 this year vs. 27 last year).
Please know that the police and my office are very aware of and concerned about the recent violence and are doing everything within our power to stem it, but we need your help. If you have any information that may lead to the arrest of anyone involved in any of the shootings or that may prevent future violence, please contact the police. Of course, if it is an emergency, call 911. However, if it is not an emergency but you have information that you believe may be useful to the police, call the 24th District Community Policing Office at 312-744-6321.
If for some reason you are not comfortable sharing the information directly with the police, please feel free to contact my office at 773-338-5796 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will pass your information on to the police and promise to keep you identity confidential if you so desire.
I also urge you to attend the next CAPS beat meeting in your neighborhood. This is where you can meet your neighbors and the police officers who work your “beat,” share information and get involved with innovative strategies that will make our neighborhood safer. For a map of the police beats in the 24th Police District and a schedule of the upcoming meetings, visit the public safety page of my website at:
It’s only by working together that we can keep our neighborhood safe and violence-free.