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Family Plans To Move Amid Spike In Gun Violence In Ravenswood Manor, Albany Park

CHICAGO (CBS) -- We've been digging into gun violence in the community around Ravenswood Manor and Albany Park.

As CBS 2's Jeremy Ross reported Wednesday night, the area has seen a spike in gang violence that has gotten the attention of state lawmakers.

Before this summer, the sounds of trains – grade-level Brown Line Chicago Transit Authority trains – were commonplace around Ravenswood Manor. And they still are.

But lately, neighbors like Sharapat Polotova have said gunfire has become just as familiar. Her car was hit about two weeks ago.

Less than two weeks ago, we also told you about Hector Alvarez Jr., who was shot multiple times inside a vehicle in the 2700 block of West Agatite Avenue and was hospitalized.

It is believed he was mistakenly targeted by gang members.

Those crime conflicts have more than doubled reported shootings in Ravenswood Manor and the adjacent Albany Park neighborhood.

"We are all scared now," Polotova said. "We are all so shocked with what's going on in this neighborhood."

She said she hears gunfire every other day, or "maybe even every day."

"There are shootings, it seems, sometimes every night in this area," said Illinois state Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago). "We have heard from the Mayor's office. We've heard from the commander in the area."

Williams is one of a handful of lawmakers who sent a letter to the Mayor's office asking for additional safeguards to combat the explosion in gang violence.

They include, Williams said, "increased police presence," and "the instillation of cameras in high crime areas."

So should residents be seeing a difference now, or will it be days, or weeks?

"I can't give you a timeline," Williams said. "But we are urging immediate action, because unfortunately, the violence is ongoing."

While some wait for solutions, Polotova and her family are waiting to move.

"We just need a safe place for our kids," she said.

And when asked if she still thought Ravenswood Manor was safe, Polotova said, "No, not anymore."

Lawmakers said the city and police have had positive talks, and they hope to update the community on next steps during a meeting in mid-October.


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