Our hearts are heavy today as our community grieves the loss of an innocent victim to gun violence.
A woman in her early 60s was fatally shot Friday night at 6:30 p.m. as she was walking on Glenwood, just south of Morse.
According to police officials, two juveniles were on the street speaking to occupants of a vehicle stopped at the intersection of Morse and Glenwood when a second vehicle, which witnesses describe as a dark SUV, drove by. An occupant of the second vehicle fired shots at the juveniles. Tragically, one of the bullets struck the woman, who police say was an unintended victim.
After the shooting, the juveniles and both vehicles fled the scene.
The woman was taken to Presence Saint Francis Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Police have asked me to withhold the identity of the victim until they are sure certain all members of her family have been notified.
Police officers canvassed the area searching for both the perpetrators and witnesses who might have information about the crime. Police detectives are examining video footage, which may help lead to the identification of the perpetrators and their intended targets.
In what police tell me was an unrelated shooting 30 minutes earlier, a 15-year-old boy was shot in an altercation in an alley behind in the 7400 block of Ridge Avenue. The victim is hospitalized in critical condition. Police have little information about this second crime and will be questioning the victim when he is able to talk.
If you have seen anything that might aid in the investigation of these crimes, please contact Area North Detectives at 312-744-8200.
Additional gang crime teams have been dispatched to both the Morse and Ridge and Touhy areas in the wake of these incidents.
I am working with local police officials to make sure you are informed of any new developments in the investigations and will be reaching out to those who are grieving.
The police and I are aware of an increase of youths loitering at Morse and Glenwood and have been working diligently within the confines of the Constitution to discourage it. Earlier this week, local police officers held a non-confrontational “meet and greet” at the Morse Red Line Dunkin Donuts, which has been the scene of some of the loitering. The owners of the store are cooperating with the police.
Smart community policing strategies and strong community involvement have resulted in a significant decrease in crime and violence on Morse over the last 20 years. However, since late this summer, our neighborhood has experienced an uptick in gun violence.
Any victim of gun violence is a tragedy, but it is especially tragic and intolerable for an innocent victim to be gunned down on a busy street in the early evening. The police and the City must do its part, but we also need residents of the community to become more involved.
I will share with you in the coming days some of the steps we can take together to make our beautiful Rogers park neighborhood safer for all.
In response to the violence, a Rogers Park neighbor is organizing an “RP Unity Vigil” tonight (Saturday, October 14th), 6:00 p.m. at Tobey Prinz Beach Park (Pratt and the lake). As stated in his Facebook post, it is a “simple gathering to respond to violence and fear with peace and love. Bring a poem or reading, a candle to light, or just yourself to be in community.”
Though I am not part of the organizing of this event, I wanted to make you aware that it’s taking place.
We must continue to remain vigilant and we must never lose hope.