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Neighbors Terrified Amid Rash Of Gunfire And Shootings In And Around Albany Park, Alderwoman Says Fix Is Not So Simple

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Wild West is how some residents describe parts of the city's North and Northwest sides.

They say there is a spike of people shooting guns from speeding cars at one another with bullets ricocheting – and it is getting worse. And as CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reported Wednesday night, some neighbors are now demanding a plan from their alderwoman.

The Albany Park and Irving Park areas are just two of the communities that have seen a rash of such shootings lately. Many of these shootings are happening right off Irving Park Road and Montrose Avenue – at all times of day.

The leader of one community group said an emergency police camera was mounted at Byron Street and California Avenue in the Irving Park neighborhood because of the shootings. But some residents said that is not enough.

Shery Mayberry pointed out damage from a bullet that just missed her kitchen window in September. She later found a bullet casing on her side patio.

"I found a bullet around in here," Mayberry said as she pointed to a spot on the patio behind a chair. "I was very shaken up by that, because that was just so close."

She was home when the shooting happened, just before 11 p.m. on a Friday. She heard loud gunshots and then screening tires.

"I jumped from the couch to the floor and called 911," Mayberry said.

Mayberry and others living in the Albany Park (17th) and Town Hall (19th) police districts describe shootings – often from one car to another – as frequent and out-of-control.

The Albany Park Police District is bounded by Devon Avenue on the north, Belmont Avenue on the south, the North Branch of the Chicago River and the North Shore Channel on the east, and Cicero Avenue on the west. The Town Hall Police District is bounded by Lawrence Avenue on the north, Fullerton Avenue on the south, Lake Michigan on the east, and the North Branch on the west – and it borders the Albany Park District on the east.

The incident that happened two blocks from Mayberry's home was just last weekend.

"I think we need to have more patrols in the neighborhood," Mayberry said.

Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd) is the alderwoman for Albany Park and surrounding neighborhoods.

"It is definitely unsettling," Rodriguez-Sanchez said.

Some residents requested a meeting with Rodriguez-Sanchez to discuss the uptick in shootings. They will be meeting with her on Thursday.

Kozlov asked Rodriguez-Sanchez if the Albany Park District needs more police.

"I can't tell you that," Rodriguez-Sanchez said. "I don't know."

Rodriguez-Sanchez is a "defund the police" proponent, and believes some money should be diverted from the police budget to other social and preventative programs. She added that what is happening in her ward now is a concern, but not an easy fix.

"I know people that want to hear, "Yes, we're going to solve this,' but it doesn't work like that, unfortunately," she said.

But residents said they want a plan to address what is happening now.

How bad is it? Illinois state Rep. Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago) said this week that he knows of at least six such shootings in his neighborhood over the past few weeks.

But unless someone is actually shot, such incidents are logged as criminal damage to property.

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