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Neighbors Worry, And One Is Thinking Of Moving, After Gang Activity And Shootings In Irving Park

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A fight is under way to get a handle on an out-of-control and growing gang problem in the Northwest Side's Irving Park neighborhood.

As CBS 2's Jermont Terry reported, neighbors are demanding more action from officers – particularly after another shooting less than 24 hours ago.

What more can be done? That is the question neighbors posed to officers in the Albany Park (17th) Police District on Wednesday evening.

It came after a series of shootings in their Irving Park community – with the most recent having happened overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

With fear on frustration on their mind, the neighbors want something done.

"When you're talking about your children's health - of course, your scared," said an Irving Park homeowner named Mike.

Mike, a father of two, moved into the community a few years ago. Now, he is ready to move again.

"I don't feel safe," he said, "and if it means I have to leave the neighborhood because we can't make any traction, then that's next step."

Mike and his neighbors gathered talking to police Wednesday night, at the same intersection where hours earlier, shots were fired in a drive-by shooting that left two men injured.

The men were driving in a vehicle in the 3800 block of North Richmond Street at 12:42 a.m. when shots were fired by someone in a white sport-utility vehicle. A 24-year-old man was dropped off at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in good condition with a graze wound to the face, while a 23-year-old man was dropped off at the same hospital with a gunshot wound to the right arm.

As police continue to look into what happened, they have not made an arrest. But it was very evident that car windows were shot out at the scene – and it wasn't just one car. A walk down the block shows bullet holes in two different cars – and it has left neighbors in fear.

"There was a child standing next to someone who got shot a month ago - right outside, right here, 30 feet from here," Mike said.

Chicago Police told CBS 2 the victims in the overnight shooting and the other most recent incidents are known to officers.

Chicago Police Albany Park District Cmdr. Ron Pontecore said, "There's been an increase of some violent activities through here with some shots fired some and gang activity."

Police are asking for more calls and less online chatter.

"We'd like them to call 911 more than reaching out on social media, because we don't monitor social media 24/7," Pontecore said.

Neighbors just want the gang members to understand they're not wanted.

"We're not involved in your lifestyle, and we want our neighborhood back," Mike said.

While some neighbors are considering leaving, many of the neighbors are resilient and determined not to let the gangs push them out.

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