Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Person Shot Near Broncho Billy Playlot

The injured person was taken away
by ambulance
Last night there were gunshots (detailed on our Facebook page).   Today they hit someone and hijacked a van to escape. Two readers report:
  • "I heard six or seven gunshots today while walking home from the Wilson Red Line Stop this afternoon, approximately 4:50.  I had just passed the Truman College, one block west of Magnolia on Sunnyside. I was passed by three gangbangers, walking east on Sunnyside, when I heard multiple gun shots, I believe 6 or 7, I did not count, I just ran out of there and called the police.  I noted a grey (primer paint color)  van was in the area driving westbound on Sunnyside and turned North on Magnolia.

    I also recall a person standing in the front yard on the southwest corner of Racine and Sunnyside, with his arms in the air similar to a "touchdown" signal. I saw him within 45 second prior to the shootings taking place.  I have since heard sirens in the area and now there are police and first responders on the scene. Not sure if anyone was hit, since I high tailed out of there."
  • "The person shot does not appear to be in bad shape. It sounds as though the shooting happened near Broncho Billy and the offenders fled down Sunnyside, then up an alley to Wilson, where they hijacked a Comcast van near Beacon and Wilson. They showed a handgun and fled in the Comcast van."
Got more? Please put it in the comments.  We're getting a lot of conflicting reports, so this will sort itself with more information.


  1. I was asleep in my room that borders that part of Sunnyside, woke up to a lot of yelling back and forth between neighborhood kids and then a lot of shots. A LOT. And then a lot more yelling back and forth. Sounded like the area was pretty crowded when this went down. Relieved that it sounds like no one was killed.

  2. Person shot was a white male and taken out of truman by the paramedics. Not sure if he was shot inside truman or not.

  3. That sucks that an innocent person got shot. It was just a matter of time. I guess

  4. Innocent person? Maybe. And you are making that assumption because...he's white?

  5. How do you know it was an innocent person? Because they were white? I saw a comcast van going down the alley between Magnolia and Truman back toward Sunnyside and the site of the shooting a couple of minutes after the shots were fired. Don't know if it was the guys who had jacked the van going back to the scene or not. Crazy.

  6. Walking my dogs at 5:20, streets & sidewalk from Racine and Sunnyside to Truman's parking garage entrance was covered with police tape. Six police cars blocking Racine, Sunnyside over to Magnolia, all around Truman.

    I can't wait until James takes office and we begin cleaning out the gang members who are living illegally with their family, many in buildings that got millions in TIF money.

  7. The person that was shot was an innocent bystander.

    Let me repeat, the person that was shot was an innocent bystander.

    It could have been me, or you, or your kids.

    Cleaning out the gangs can't start soon enough.

  8. Oh my God! A shooting on Magnolia! Oh, wait...that's nothing new...

  9. Cappleman is not a miracle worker by the way. Winning the aldermanship didn't give him supreme power over public housing or the courts or the police force. Don't expect any big changes any time soon. These gangbangers hanging out in our neighborhood and shooting people don't necessarily live here. In fact, I doubt many of them do.

  10. It WAS so nice over there for about 3 weeks this winter when a few of them got put away. Seemed like it was turning a corner. Even got a nice email from Commander Kathleen Boehmer letting us know all the fine progress being made. 911 calls, and an almost constant police presence haven't stopped the thugs from moving back in.

    As long as the people of these buildings harbor criminals, drug dealers, and continue that "thug life" mentality nothing is ever going to change.

    On a positive note rumor has it Chitownphilly was just inches away from catching the bullet in his teeth and saving this young man from being shot. He is almost THAT good. True story.

  11. Yes, we can assume the white guy is innocent.....when was the last time a white person was caught firing guns around here? Don't really see to many of those white P Stones, Vice Lord, Gangster Diciples, or Latin Kings.....

  12. Matt, though I agree with what you say...

    Let us have happy shiny dreams for at least another two weeks.


  13. A white couple were the ones who hid drugs in my friend's alley and are still the ones I see walking the streets every day with the back of their hair dyed red.

    That I saw 5 minutes ago outside my apartment.

    That I hate.

    That I want to see get arrested and their baby carriage (most likely empty) be given away.

  14. White or black these punks have no special color on their bullets. I think this summer sure is going to be a hot one and I hope our new Alderman can help cool it down. Last night I thought I was back in Vietnam with all the shooting I woke up to. Somewhere in the Clarendon park area.

  15. Where's Ceasefire? What's the point of them starting this summer if they cannot stop it now in the spring before it heats up? does anyone know the victim?

  16. As a witness to the 'infamous Halloween Magnolia/Montrose' shooting last year, I'm not surprised.
    I have to wonder, how many of these gang banger bottom feeders are living in TIF/Sub-housing.

    I was walking way west of here tonight (west of Ashland), and it was like when the 'Wizard of Oz turns to color'......sane.....civilized...peaceful.

    I'm so sick of these worthless, soul-less pieces of crap, who've pitched their tents in my neighborhood.

  17. Does anyone else get the impression that the police have given up in this area? It's ironic the CPD has undercover officers at the on the Wilson platform ticketing people for smoking while the drug dealing and OK Corral gun shooting goes on a block away.

  18. thats ok.. I saw 5 guys dealing drugs at the famous JJPeppers Plaza at Lawrence and Sheridan yesterday afternoon.. I walked by and one of the guys had a wad of cash at least 4 inches thick... they were in front of the restaurant just in case any of our friends in the police dept are reading this...

  19. Having lived in the neighborhood for over 7 years, the police have not given up on this neighborhood. The police presence is higher than I've ever seen it and the big bust that happened a couple of months ago was the result of a fairly prolonged investigation. Cops are working this problem. Unfortunately they don't get all the help they need. The people who know the bangers and know what's going on regarding the trouble makers don't talk out of fear of retaliation, suspicion of the police, and a screwed up sense of loyalty. Also, building owners aren't really cooperating as much as they could either. The police have been turned down by several owners when the police request to use their building for surveillance, etc.

    And again, the bangers you see aren't necessarily from this neighborhood. If you look at most of the arrests that get made, these guys come from all over and are simply "stationed" here by the gang. This is turf to these people, it's not their home. We are a business territory they are fighting over.

    One thing that will help decrease gang activity is not having so much clientele in the form of junkies and homeless people in the neighborhood for the gangs to sell drugs to. Dry up the market, and you will see less people open for business causing trouble.

    That was how Shiller contributed to the problem. She invited every bum and junkie into uptown and promised them a place to bunk and squat. The result is we now have an established drug trade here.

  20. @ Hog wrote...
    "when was the last time a white person was caught firing guns around here?"

    I have my FOIC. I am taking shooting lessons. I am white middle-age woman. I WILL defend myself using a concealed weapon if I feel threatened by any of these "neighborhood" thugs.

  21. "She invited every bum and junkie into uptown and promised them a place to bunk and squat. The result is we now have an established drug trade here."

    This isn't entirely accurate. More important was the state of Illinois' decision to deinstitutionalize psychiatric patients in order to save money. While some patients' lives improved in the context of community care, others fell into homelessness, joblessness and substance abuse. At the time this happened, Uptown had a lot of old hotels and subdivided units that were perfect for single people re-entering the community.

    So, the situation was a bit bigger than little ol' Helen Shiller. A LOT of the blame should go onto politicians who sought to divert mental health dollars towards other ends. One one hand, you could say that in supporting these people Shiller only did what any moral person should do under the circumstances. On the other hand, she could be criticized for not making a bigger stink about the effect that this was having on the viability of a single Chicago neighborhood.

    But you are right that we have a hefty drug trade here. This is the community cost borne out of this history. We have every right to demand more resources and I hope that Uptown's new aldermen will bring about some long-needed change in this area.

  22. Rob - keep calling 911 on Lawrence & Sheridan. That's a hot spot for sure. I call every time I walk past because something always seems to be going on.

  23. I don't need to add anything Sassy said it best.

  24. You can blame the condition of Uptown on stingy lawmakers if you want and call concentrating the poor, elderly, and mentally ill into our ward "moral" all day long. The fact is, though, the deinstitutionalization movement has been well-intentioned but highly misguided for the last 60 years and throwing more money at it isn't the solution.

    And, more to the point, when you see the alderman and her supporters for years defend the results of her "moral" approach, namely street after street of empty storefronts, alleys full of junkies and crack heads, people getting shot in broad daylight with in spitting distance of schools and playgrounds, and have the chutzpa to blame it on a lack of money rather than a stupendously blind and stubborn commitment to bad policies and their terrible unintended but obvious consequences, I'm sorry but that's just absurd.

    You're right this is a historic problem, but Shiller was part of that history for 26 years. She was no small part of the mess. She may believe she being compassionate and "moral" by inviting all these people into the ward and holding out her hand for more and more government money. But being moral didn't require her to keep on increasing the amount of poor, elderly, and menatlly ill she brought into the ward, and it didn't require her to completely abdicate responsibility for holding homeless shelters, public housing, and transient hotels from accountability for allowing trouble makers and substance abusers to stay here. She did no one any favors, including those she was purporting to help by letting Uptown languish and wallow in her "compassionate" embrace of the downtrodden.

  25. To Alan Robinson:

    It has been confirmed that it was an innocent bystander. Whether that confirmation is legit or not is questionable but if someone read that information and then commented they do not deserve your judgement of your assumption that they were simply making an assumption.

  26. @ Sassy

    Thank you for posting these facts for those who do not know the history of Uptown. When our totally clueless cowboy president, Mr Regan convinced congress to cut funds of all sorts public programs, psychiatric and mental health institutions were forced to abandon folks and put them back 'on the streets.'

  27. Trish, sorry but that's not what happened. Read some books. The deinstitutionalization movement began in the 50s and was pushed forward as a project of civil rights. Activists sought to put state asylums out of business and give the mentally ill choices about whether they had to be treated. The activists had a foolish utopian idea of community based care which had terrible coordination and abysmal standards for accountability. This approach didn't fail just because of a lack of money. It failed because it was a flawed model based on wishful thinking and an idealized notion about the sefl-sufficiency of the mentally ill, and the legal considerations incompetent people deserved. Reagan was not responsible for letting waves of people who had no business being among the public loose on the streets. Wishful thinking and misguided "compassion" were a big part of it.

  28. With all due respect, Matt, I think your comments far exceed the relatively minor point I was trying to make about remembering the historical and political context of "inviting every bum and junkie into uptown and promis[ing] them a place to bunk and squat."

    Its simply a fact that deinstitutionalization was accompanied by government retrenchment in assistance for people with mental illnesses. Psychotropic drugs were supposed to deliver a cost savings but in reality part of the cost savings from this new approach were made by not properly supporting receiving communities like Uptown. In economic terms, direct costs were shifted to an "externality" that Uptown had to bear.

    Pointing this out does not necessarily mean that "blame" should go on lawmakers more than Helen Shiller or that "concentrating the poor, elderly, and mentally ill into our ward" is moral. My basic point was that it is inaccurate to paint what happened simply as if Helen Shiller invited them all in. Uptown's physical features (which I mentioned in my post) had a great deal to do with it apart from anything that politicians did. And if you remember the context of homelessness in the early 1980s it appeared rather unexpectedly and there were few institutionalized resources to address the issue. It was morally right to respond. I hope you agree? You extrapolated what I wrote to suggest that I think concentrating the poor, mentally ill and elderly is morally right.

    Especially as we are moving into a new era in this neighborhood, I think its really important that we not just write off what happened before as if we were ruled by the wicked witch of the west. Certainly (!) there is much of Helen's legacy that can be rightly criticized. Seeing that she was someone who was here for so long you cannot honestly tell any story without considering her role. At the same time, thinking critically about the things that happened over those 26 years (not just how she reacted to them) will build consensus for workable solutions. If nothing else, truly engaging with these issues apart from her persona should make us more empathetic towards each other.

    I don't know about anyone else but I am eager to live in a functional economically-diverse community for a change.

  29. Trish, if you really want to understand what led to so many mentally ill people wandering the streets, take a look at this article. It explains that the problem started long before Reagan and wasn't quite as easily reduced to stingy government officials as you might want to believe.

  30. I just want to fix the link I posted above, here it is.


  31. Sassy, if my reaction is too strong, apologies. But I think it's kind of suspect to say, "Hey all of these homeless people showed up in the 80s out of nowhere (not true, the homeless population was steadily increasing from the early 60s forward) and Helen was doing her best to help these poor people."

    We may be able to give her a pass at the beginning of her aldermanship, but by the second half of her term it should have been more than obvious it was time to change course, but she didn't. And she should be held accountable for that. What's more, even if we grant that the state and federal government weren't bearing enough of the burden for the mentally ill (I would argue part of the reason they couldn't was because of the impeding and foolish legal obstacles activists put up on behalf of the mentally ill.) it doesn't follow that Helen should have continued to allow more and more poor, elderly, and homeless people into the ward by ADDING to infrastructure in the ward for those people. Sure there was a lot of old hotels and whatnot, but Shiller supported building MORE!

    So, I agree, let's not look back on the past too much and focus on Shiller who will be gone very soon. (YEAH!!!!) But the over concentration of the homeless, mentally ill, poor, and elderly is still a problem and I hope we as a community don't decide that the way to deal with that is for us to ask for more tax money to deal with those populations. I hope we decide that too much concentration of those populations is a big mistake and start working to dilute those concentrations, and to hold people accountable for the problems they are causing in our community.

  32. And there are a world of different levels of PEOPLE who are mentally ill.

    A person is not their disease.

    Oh and Matt, not all people with mental illness have people work "on their behalf." There are plenty of us who can speak up for ourselves.

    And it's GREAT to lump in homeless, poor, mentally ill and elderly people in with the POINT of the blog post about violence.

    Yeah, the elderly are buying crack on our streets.

    Yeah, all poor and homeless people buy crack and weed.

    And of course, all mentally ill people who have to have people work on "their behalf" for whatever legal crap you're talking about get off their asses to buy pot and crack on our streets as well.

    Addiction and homelessness, poverty, mental illness and GETTING OLD do not always go together.

    If so, I'll assume you'll be moving out of the neighborhood when you hit 60.

    And if all of that sounds riled up and defensive, deal with it.

  33. There is very little info on this incident....nothing new?

  34. @Sassy

    Well said. So, how should we approach the problem of mental illness in the context of Uptown?

  35. Reading this post is making ME mentally ill!

  36. I was working from home and heard the shots. I grabbed the phone and ran to my balcony which is across the alley from the Truman Quad area. I saw a car speeding down the alley and called 911 and gave them the plate numbers. A young kid saw me and asked if I had the police on the phone and gave the make of the car and said the driver had dreads.

    As I was talking to the young man two ComCast Vans started down the alley. I flagged them down and told him I thought a shooting had just taken place at the end of the alley. He backed up. But sounds like it back fired after all as I see that they used a ComCast van to escape. I guess the car was not the shooter as they wouldn't have needed a get away car.

  37. At 11:48 p.m. on Sunday 5/1, I heard three gun shots coming from that same area. Not the nicest thing to hear when trying to fall asleep on a Sunday night.I called the police and within two minutes I heard police cars in the area of the Sunnyside Mall.