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Police, Ald. Matt Martin To Hold Virtual Community Meeting Next Week In Wake Of 3 Rolling Gunfire, Shootout Incidents In North Center Area

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Town Hall (19th) Chicago Police District and the office of Ald. Matt Martin (47th) will be holding a special virtual meeting next week to address three different rolling shootout incidents that have happened in the North Center and West Lakeview areas over just the past few days.

"We're deeply concerned as a community, and you know, it's unsettling to hear about this in such a short amount of time," said Renee Gerardin, president of the Northcenter Neighborhood Association. "But it's also unsettling to hear about this throughout the city."

The most recent incident, 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 Monday night about 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 around 10:50 p.m., 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.

As CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reported, people ran for cover as the sound of gunfire was captured on surveillance audio in the Monday night incident. At least 10 bullet holes were seen in the back and front passenger doors of the Jeep in which the 16-year-old was shot.

The driver ran from the scene after crashing into a parked car. No one was in custody Wednesday.

Early on Sunday, about half a mile away from the Monday night scene, 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.

Meanwhile, the Toyota – which was seen on camera skidding down Irving Park Road – ended up stopping. Its occupants bailed on foot and ran off in an unknown direction. The driver of the Rogue, a 27-year-old man, was also taken to Illinois Masonic for observation but did not suffer any serious injuries.

Ald. Martin said in a notice to constituents that at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, his office and Town Hall District officers will have a special CAPS meeting to provide information about public safety in the wake of these three incidents, and to answer residents' questions.

The event had been scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 14, but was moved to a sooner date in the wake of the most recent incident early Wednesday.

The event will be virtual, and residents may RSVP at this link.

"On a personal note, I recognize just how unsettling it is that, over the last several days, our community has endured repeated incidents of gun violence," Martin wrote. "Like many of you, I have young children and want to ensure that they are safe and comfortable wherever they go, both within and outside of our neighborhood. I know that moments like this cause fear and create a justified sense of urgency to see these problems solved immediately. We all want to move swiftly to help ensure this type of violence stops immediately."

Martin noted that on Wednesday evening, Town Hall District police began ramping up traffic missions in North Center and Lakeview. They are also coordinating with the Albany Park (17th) District on the other side of the North Branch of the Chicago River, as well as other nearby police districts, to share information.

Special information will be given to any cars reported as stolen, in part with mobile license plate readers.

Meanwhile, given that the people involved in these shootouts do not seem to be tied to the communities where they are happening, the 47th Ward and the Town Hall District will be communicating with police and other community entities in areas that are experiencing similar issues.

Ald. Martin is also visiting schools and businesses and knocking on doors in North Center to talk about public safety concerns and answer questions.

"I also know that, too often, when confronted with community violence, elected officials defer blame and promise quick and easy solutions. While we will continue taking steps to immediately address these incidents, it is important to acknowledge, directly and honestly, that there are no simple fixes to the violence that communities all across Chicago face," Martin wrote. "We all must engage in the year-round hard work of strengthening our communities, both here in our own neighborhoods as well as across Chicago, with the goal of preventing violence in a systematic way."

There have been other similar high-profile rolling shootout incidents reported in Chicago over just the past week.

On Wednesday, Sept. 30, four bystanders and a suspected perpetrator were shot in the Fulton River District as someone fired from a car during a chase. The shots were fired along a long stretch of Milwaukee Avenue, and through the busy intersection with Halsted Street and Grand Avenue.

One of the victims, a man in the back of a Lyft on his way to see his girlfriend, was shot in the back and critically injured. Another victim, T.J. Kory, was on his bicycle when he too was shot.

"We need to find a solution - not only for us in Northcenter, but for the city as a whole," Girardin said.


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