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Gang Members Are 'Shooting At Any Time Of Day' In Albany Park Area, Rep. Jaime Andrade Says

CHICAGO (CBS) -- An Illinois state lawmaker says repeated rolling shootouts on local roadways have turned his district in Albany Park into the Wild, Wild West.

CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov did some digging and found violence is a growing concern in the area.

"They're shooting at any time of the day," said state Rep. Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago).

Andrade said a recent shootout between two cars in Albany Park is a recent example of crime in the Albany Park (17th) Police District – which 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.

No one was hurt in this latest shooting, but as Andrade documented, the shooting damaged cars and left shell casings littered on the street.

Andrade said such shootings are being fueled by gang wars, and gang members inciting each other in social media.

It is not just a problem in the Albany Park District – concerns about shootings from cars, often toward other cars, were the subject of a recent CAPS meeting in the Town Hall (19th) District. That 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.

Many of the shootings have happened on or near Irving Park Road.

In one incident early on Wednesday, Oct. 6, a 21-year-old man was critically injured after he was shot while driving on Lincoln Avenue near Montrose Avenue and Leavitt Street. Police said the man was driving along Lincoln Avenue, around 1:50 a.m., when someone in another car fired shots.

The 21-year-old was hit in the neck, causing him to crash into a tree, meter box and then the door of the Lou Malnati's at 4340 N. Lincoln Ave.

When police arrived on the scene and tried to approach, the victim threw a gun and drugs on the ground and ran off. Officers caught up with him and realized he had been shot in the neck.

The man was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition.

Late on Monday, Oct. 4 a mile away, a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed in an apparent shootout between two vehicles. Police said the boy was a passenger in a car heading east on Irving Park Road near Ashland Avenue, when someone in a Dodge sedan shot him in the head.

The driver of the car the boy was in then crashed into a parked vehicle in the 4000 block of North Ashland Avenue, near Lake View High School, and fled on foot. The boy was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said it appeared shots also might have been fired from the car the boy was in, and a gun was recovered from that vehicle.

Early on Sunday, Oct. 3, someone in a Toyota Camry and someone in a black sedan were reportedly each firing at each other as they headed west on Irving Park Road from Lincoln and Damen avenues to Western Avenue.

The Toyota went on to hit a Nissan Rogue sport-utility vehicle full of innocent bystanders, killing one of them.

At 3:03 a.m., a Chicago Police K9 Unit officer was stopped at a red light on Irving Park Road and reported hearing gunshots and seeing muzzle flashes from the Toyota Camry. The officer then turned on their emergency lights and fired the car, until the Camry blew past the red light at Irving Park Road and Western Avenue and into that black Nissan Rogue.

A 37-year-old woman was ejected from the Nissan Rogue and did not survive. She was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Back in the Albany Park District, Andrade said he knows of at least six shootings in the past month – but Chicago Police crime stats show only one shooting incident in that district.

"It's clearly a lot more," Andrade said. "There's something not being taken into consideration."

Andrade said his battle to get more crime fighting dollars from the state to the North Side of the city has gone nowhere.

"They say the North Side of Chicago, there's too much wealth," he said, "and so we cannot get any violence prevention funds up here."

Andrade said in addition to his frustration about not getting those crime fighting dollars, there is also a simple solution – just enforce the laws already on the books.

A Police Department spokesperson said a "shooting incident" is only classified as such when a person is shot. Otherwise, it is classified as criminal damage to property.

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