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As Residents' Worries Mount About Uptick In Gang Violence In And Around Albany Park, Shootings Continue On

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Police say gang disputes have been fueling shootings lately in the Northwest Side neighborhoods of Albany Park and Ravenswood Manor.

Residents have been asking for a plan to curb the gang violence, but as CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported Wednesday night, the shootings have continued right on.

There was another shooting Wednesday night that left a man dead in Albany Park. Even before that, residents expressed they were fed up in a conversation this week about staffing numbers and strategy.

But command staff at the Albany Park (17th) District did not have all those answers, and there have been several shootings this week alone.

The latest shooting happened at Lawrence and Monticello avenues. A man was shot multiple times in the body at 6:19 p.m., police said.

The victim was rushed to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

That incident was on just the next block west from a mass shooting that happened on Lawrence Avenue Tuesday night. In that incident, five people were shot – including two teenagers.

Police said the victims were standing on the sidewalk when someone fired shots from a white Nissan sedan.

The victims in the earlier incident ranged in age from 15 to 37 years old. A 17-year old and a 15-year-old were left in critical condition and a 21-year-old man was in serious condition.

Surveillance video from the Tuesday night drive-by showed cars waving flags out the window, celebrating ahead of Mexican Independence Day.

Afterward, people on the sidewalk start running as the shots begin.

Some of the bullets ripped through the glass at a hairdresser, busting the windows.

That mass shooting happened shortly after a neighborhood safety meeting that was conducted virtually. Residents of Albany Park and Ravenswood Manor faced off with police at the meeting.

The CPD pointed to gang feuds as the reason for the increase in shootings.

"We've had a definite uptick in shots-fired incidents, as well as acts of violence against individuals," Albany Park District Cmdr. Ron Pontecore said at the meeting. "I think what we need to realize is at this point in time right now, we're dealing with at least 10 district conflicts gang-wise, not only in our district, but neighboring districts as well."

Sammie Martinez of Albany Park heard the gunshots that left another man dead on Monday night.

"We heard five or six shots," Martinez said.

Martinez heard the gunshots that killed Ernie Perez, 26, on Monday night in the 3600 block of West Argyle Street, also in Albany Park.

"It happened right in front of our home," Martinez said. "I was watching a Disney movie with my son."

In a separate incident Monday, a bullet flew through a window of the Irving Park Infant Toddler Center, 3000 W. Montrose Ave., where Martinez sends his kid to daycare and which has two locations on the block. Nobody was injured.

"Just like the daycare had a bullet go through the window, it could be any of us, and that's exactly what we want to prevent," Martinez said.

Prior to the Tuesday night mass shooting, the Albany Park District – bounded by Devon Avenue on the north, Belmont Avenue on the south and 44-shootings in 2020–up from 5-homicides and 20 shootings all of 2019.

The deadly shooting on Wednesday night, again, is the third shooting in Albany Park in as many days. No arrests have been made in any of the shootings.

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