Sunday, May 1, 2011

Person Shot Near Sheridan & Lawrence

Readers are reporting hearing 5-6 shots fired shortly before 2am, and another person is telling us that someone was shot near Sheridan and Lawrence.  A post on UU's Facebook page says that "Sheridan and Lawrence are blocked off, there are cops everywhere and they are combing the streets on foot with flashlights."  If you have any more information, please post it in the comments.

Damn, and we were just enjoying the balmy evening.  Hate that warm weather has meant nothing but trouble for the last few years in our neighborhood.

Update:  The shooting victim is a male who was shot in the leg and is in good condition.  It happened just north of the JJ Peppers parking lot -- disturbingly enough, in the same spot where Timothy Pittman was murdered a few years ago.  Witnesses say the shooters were four black males in a Dodge Charger (which was either white or black).  It took off at warp speed right after the shots were fired from it, prompting more calls to 911.  Police are currently looking for the suspects.


  1. From Chicago Breaking News ----About 1:50 a.m., a man was shot in the leg near the intersection of West Argyle Street and North Marine Drive, according to police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro.

    The man was taken in good condition to Weiss Memorial Hospital, he said.,0,4378700.story

  2. Of course I wish there was no shooting at all. However, at least this was at 2AM and the streets were empty. I was at Broadway & Wilson when that young girl got shot waiting for the bus at 4PM! I will never forget that day. It was chaos with probably 50 innocent people in the area.

  3. This is only the start for this stuff-wait til it gets real warm out.Shame,can't even talk a safe walk in evening without dogging bullets.

  4. heard 4 shots right at 2 a.m., called 911 immediately.

  5. Hoping that our new alderman can help make this summer less violent than last. Good luck and god speed, James.

  6. So, is it time to walk away from my investment?

    It is apparent that the city and ward are not holding up their end of the bargain to provide a safe neighborhood for the residents. More cops will not help.

    I recently moved away from the area and just signed a two-year lease for a nice couple to move in to my Uptown condo. They were on there way to drop off the cashier's check for the deposit and decided to stop by the condo this past Friday. Just as they were about to leave, 4-5 police cars swarmed the area. One officer shouted to them, "Get the hell away from here, now!."

    Needless to say, I no longer have tenants for my place. A nice couple who only wanted to start a family. To top it off, that morning someone in one of the local banks told them that "they would be crazy to move to this [terrible] neighborhood."

    I'm at my wits end with believing that things will change...

  7. Congratulations Uptown...

    Englewood.. Washington Park... South Chicago.. Logan Square.. South Austin.. West Garfield Park.. Oh and Uptown!,0,4378700.story?track=rss

  8. "From Chicago Breaking News ----About 1:50 a.m., a man was shot in the leg near the intersection of West Argyle Street and North Marine Drive."

    Gotta love how the newspapers get is wrong so often. I was listening to the scanner since I couldn't sleep and heard the whole thing go down. The shooting occurred at Sheridan and Gunnison. Several reports were filed, one of which by an off duty officer. Four black males in either a white or black Charger fired shots and took off going East on Lawrence.

    The man shot in the leg was in stable condition at Weiss and was co-operating with police. They never said whether he was an innocent bystander or a rival banger. This was at 2am on a night of a big concert at the Riv where several of those concert goers were out and about in the area after the show. If I was a parent, I would be scared to death letting my kids go see a show in this area.

  9. The sky is falling the sky is falling.

    Jeff, just wondering which local bank, sounds like the local bank is not interested in the stability of its own neighborhood. I would read that bank the riot act if I were you.

    Its going to take some MAJOR changes for Uptown to improve (decrease in bullets flying).
    Like for some Large Buildings to change hands and get fixed up.

    Like say the Lawrence House size building, you have a couple of major buildings like that turn over to market rate and then you will see some changes.

    I have said this before and I will say it again, Lawrence House would better serve the community and help support the tax base if it were an upscale Hotel that bands could stay at while touring and if it had a nice restaurant bar on the first floor.

  10. Wait. They could tell the make of the vehicle, could tell there were four black males inside, but couldn't tell if that vehicle was black or white?

  11. I don't know what's next. I'm starting to belive there's no answer. I'm starting to belive that the alderman, police or the mayor can't do too much of anything. It seems to be a loosing battle. Period. Sad so sad.

  12. Lots of gang bangers at JJ Peppers tonight. Please call 911 if you see them. This is going to take a lot of vigilance on our part.

  13. @6:42 I called. There's a LOT of them. They should give them gang disbursments.

  14. Jeff said

    someone in one of the local banks told them that "they would be crazy to move to this [terrible] neighborhood."

    Two of my friends said the exact same thing to me when I told them I'd found a great condo here, 12 years ago. I moved here anyway.

    This neighborhood hasn't been
    "urban gentility" in more than 50 years, but over the past several years, even with all the new condos, it has definitely deteriorated.

  15. James Cappleman:

    Here's some off the cuff ideas:

    1) Get S&J Pantry at Lawrence and Sheridan to take down the dirty sheets hanging in the windows and stop making the neighborhood looks so ghetto.

    2) Rent the empty H&R Block office next to JJ Peppers and put in a pop-up police station. (H&R is always looking for tenants to take space after April 15th).

    3) Do either have liquor licenses? Run some underage stings for liquor and cigarette sales on the two of them, and pull their licenses to sell.

    4) Enforce the loitering laws.

    5) Get cops on bikes in the area.

    6) Enforce the panhandling laws.

    7) Propose an ordinance in city council that if you are caught selling illegal drugs within 250 feet of public housing or section 8 housing you and your family will be evicted. (Yes I know its harsh, but families used to take responsibilty for their family members actions).

    Anyone care to add to the list?

  16. I made the painful decision today to walk away from my condo and send the keys to the bank. I have lived in Uptown for 11 years and have lost all hope that it will become livable for decent people.

    It does not matter who the alderman is...the neighborhood is too loaded with the scum of the earth.

    Diversity? Give me a break. If "diversity" means decent people are terrified to go out in their own neighborhood after dark or must avoid certain streets and intersections at all times, then you can have your "diversity."

    I am so out of here.

  17. I think the fact that Toto and MANY other community members have suggestions and are willing to sweat a little makes "giving up" a but premature,

    There are so many incremental things we can do now that never woukd have been tolerated under Helen's watch that could improve Uptown overnight. First, let's acknowledge the problems head on instead of denying that what we have artificially created here through a culture of zero accountability isnt working.

    Until leadership is willing to make cleaning up Uptown a mandate and coordinate efforts, nothing will change.

  18. Toto, I agree with your 'list'

    Adding to that....SWEEP Public housing of active criminals. Monitor if anyone living there is actively involved in crime.
    I can't remember of any shootings on Astor Street downtown....

  19. @ un-bias - thanks for calling. they seemed to be gone quickly after i called. did you get the same sort of response?

  20. John42,

    I'll echo all of your comments, except for the decision being painful. I moved out yesterday. Never felt so alive! I'll still come back to the blog though, if not for the comedy.

  21. Josh - Are you for real?! If not for "the comedy"? Is our plight and endeavors to better our neighborhood funny to you? That's very twisted... I venture to guess we won't miss ya much...

  22. This is such BS, I am so sick of it. I live on Gunnison and have noticed an increase in gangs in the past few weeks. Usually they do not walk on our block, but lately they have been walking it. I called the cops yesterday on three guys (all in red and black) who were walking, then one guy handed a white bag to another, then the third urinated on a building (all of this at like 3 pm). Cops never came. So over this shit.

  23. Josh/John,

    You guys arent alone. My wife and I have stopped paying the mortgage and are getting ready to move out. Between the violence, the crime, and the catostrophic loss in value to my condo, we are left with no other choice to start and secure our future other than walk away. Its a shame but it is what it is and there is no signal at all that things are getting better either in terms of the crime or the abysmal property values. My place is listed for less than 50% what i paid for it 4 years ago and I have had 4 showings and no offers in over 5 weeks...that shows you how bad this market really is.

  24. I would think that having live-in building managers would be a good idea to help control the problem tenants.

  25. @John42-

    Why do I suspect that Uptown isn't the entire reason you returned your keys to the bank...

    I too invested in Uptown, and I am not thrilled with the recent loss in value of my property. Do I partially blame the neighborhood, our leader, and the lowest among us that terrorize our neighborhood. Absolutely. Do I blame you for moving out...Not at all. Your decision to buy here was a choice, as is your decision to leave.

    The vast majority of us want to feel safe in our neighborhood. It sickens us to watch these idiots running around like fools, almost as if they have been encouraged to make sure that current situation continues at all cost.

    To be honest though, the work here isn't done. There is A LOT that CAN and NEEDS to be done. Those who want to sweat some more under new leadership are the ones who will really deserve the rewards (financial and other) that a better, safer Uptown will provide.

    The reality is clear...our current and soon to be former leader did not view Uptown in a paradigm where violence and disrespect are universally unacceptable. I fully expect better from James C. - time will tell, and his team is going to need a lot of help from a lot of people.

    I am still cautiously optimistic, and willing to participate. Few great leaders and entrepreneurs will describe their success as quick or easy. When they do succeed incrementally, they rarely rest in their laurels for long...

    To those of us that continue to call Uptown home, giving up should not be an option.

  26. While I dont live in Uptown, I do live in a rough part of Rogers Park which is turning around.

    Reside on Morse played a huge part in that, it was the Block building.
    Two four plus ones from lunt to morse were emptied out and rehabilitated. (110 total units turned over) Before that it was hell on earth.

    Major difference, this is what needs to be down around Sheridan and Lawrence.

    Jumping ship at this time is ludricrous, you wait until the new alderman is taking over, after one of the major causes for Uptown for being what it is to leave and then you leave? Wow, thats really odd.
    A very strange strategy to be sure.

  27. My guess is that MUCH of this talk about walking away, etc. is probably fron our friends at Marc Kaplan, et al.. you know, the ones that handed out fliers at the El stops telling people NOT to buy in Uptown...... This new tactic of theirs, in my opinion, is to pose at condo owners saying they are walking away. Note, none of these conversations happened when Helen was Alderman. Now that their protector is gone, they are trying new guerilla economic warfare tactics in order to keep Uptown down.... .

  28. Will - I agree, as long as it is a quality live-in manager.

  29. Toto: Add reverse stings to arrest drug buyers as well as the sellers. Create "3 strikes and you're out" rules for recovering addicts residing in shelters or other publically funded institutions. People need an incentive to recover.

  30. Jeffo and Stash are pretty much spot on. It's hard to imagine someone bought into the heart of gangland Uptown (Lawrence-Montrose/Sheridan-Broadwat) and expected things to turn around under Shillers watch. Toto has a great list and the issues are far from unrealistic if approached with some drive and purpose.

  31. Those of you who have created an entire lifestyle around such meaningless endeavors as blogging the latest police reports and spotting the latest gang graffiti and thinking some social worker alderman is going to make significant changes within any foreseeable timeframe do not share my values in terms of quality of life.

    I want to be able to enjoy the neighborhood in which I live with my family and friends without being on the lookout for the latest gangmember with a gun. Uptown does not offer that kind of freedom for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It is the dumping ground for enormous numbers of the dregs of society.

    Wishing things will improve even within our lifetimes is a ridiculous waste of time. The scum has to live let them live here. I'll move and hope they don't follow.

  32. Anyone know the owner of record for this plaza? This seems to me to be the first step. What about S-L Pantry?

  33. Well John42, my first attempt was thwarted by the powers that be. But let me try again in a more civil way. Just go already. We need people in Uptown with a more optimistic and positive approach/outlook to our communnity. Uptown as a whole is not this dreaded hell that most think it is, or at least you seem to. In my neck of the woods, the 800 block of Agatite, I enjoy peace and (relative) quiet on a daily basis, I chat with my pleasant neighbors while the dogs play, and I even enjoy a beer on the rooftop patio next door (thanks for having me evil condo owners:) after work everyday. I rarely, if ever, feel unsafe in my neighborhood. Maybe because I am just cut from a different cloth, and skate around with a pitbull, or maybe because I share hope and compassion for everyone else. If your quality of life simply evolves around your own happiness and well-being, then you are absolutely right, you do not share my values in terms of quality of life.

    I wish you the best wherever you go; remember, always look up!

  34. This what happens when you tear down the projects i.e. Cabrini Green and spread the non working, non paying, non contributing people to society.

    You ruin other neighborhoods. The projects may have not been the answer but scattered housing sure isn't either.

    The only people that made out by getting rid of the projects are the developers.

    I am sorry but you can't change peoples behavior and upbringing just buy moving them and hoping they will be contributing members of societies.

  35. @ chitownphilly, I live just to the east of you on the same block. I agree with you. Agatite is one of the most beautiful blocks I've seen in years. Not just because of the well kept properties but the people who live in that area as well . Every year agatite holds a wonderful street fair type picnic for everyone!!! I mean everyone. It's beautiful. Everyone is friendly. All the time.

  36. A new alderman will go a long way toward making a difference in the community. All the suggestions above (except the walking away) are things James has suggested or advocated since well before he was a candidate. It will take time to implement, but some things are already happening that indicate change is coming.

    The sale of the AON buildings on the far north end of the ward. No large buildings could be sold under Shiller's watch without her insistence that affordable housing be part of the re-development. This developer plans for commercial space only. For years, many of us attended meetings with developers and business leaders and were told to "get a new alderman" if we wanted commercial development in the ward. The alderman controls permits and licenses, critical to business. The simple fact that Shiller is no longer in charge of that, is already making a difference and will hopefully make it easier for these larger properties to be bought and developed.

    Second, the recent code citations levied against JJ Peppers. Before Shiller and Daley became allies, Uptown occasionally benefited from this as a way to close problem businesses. Sting operations to shut down a bar or liquor store for selling to minors or major building or health code violations. Wilson Ave. is much different today because of this, although it may be hard to believe for some, this street was once much worse.

    It may not be a coincidence that JJ Peppers is getting more attention from authorities. This is also a corner that James and his partner Richard have focused their attention on in the past few years, along with their block club.

    And don't forget we have a new major. Emmanuel will need to make his mark on this city and do something prominent in the next few years. As many on this blog point out regularly, Uptown has some of the few remaining undeveloped spaces on the North side lakefront. Anything he does, or helps facilitate being done here will be visible to a lot of big donors, many of whom live along the lakefront here. Establishing an entertainment district that the well healed lakefront liberal crowd feels comfortable visiting would be one example.

    And finally, as Emmanuel begins to name his appointments and hires, everyone else will have to prove themselves to their new bosses. It's my understanding that direct reports to newly named superintendents must tender their resignation. Not all will be accepted, but everyone is being evaluated and there's a lot of last minute scrambling and window dressing going on as people try to save their jobs.

    I've lived in the city my entire life and am the third generation of my family to live in Uptown. There's an energy right now I haven't felt in years. City services have kicked into gear as everyone is trying to justify their paycheck. When was the last time you saw cars getting pulled over for moving violations? I'm seeing several a day now. These are small things that speak to quality of life issues and something bigger -- a change in the city. It might take a while for it to settle back to business as usual, and until it does, citizens will benefit.

    And when it comes to the 46th Ward, the new boss is not the same as the old boss.

  37. You cant put all people in the projects in the same category. Sure there are a lot of bad people in them but not everyone is. Some are just not able to afford live elsewhere, so scattered sites are a godsend for them.

  38. This part of the neighborhood would improve substantially if:
    JJ Peppers lost their liquor license or shut down for good.
    The residents of the "Lorelai" and Lawrence House were re-evaluated and the drug addicts were banished to treatment facilities and then scattered throughout the city, rather than concentrated in two buildings.
    I lived in the LH for about a year and a half and became so depressed I had to be hospitalized, several times in fact. I made a deal to move to a "normal" building and it took me awhile to recover and start living life again. It is absolutely horrific being in an environment where you know that everybody wants something from you and you have no value as a person. I love my social workers to death, but they seem pretty powerless over some of these individuals. It is clear and evident to me that some of these people are "playing the system" and feigning mental illness simply because they do not want to work and contribute to society. It is also alarming how uniform the typical personalities of such individuals are, they don't even watch television, they are simply content to loiter, to "shoot the $*it" all day sitting on their butt. Always very proud of their domestic disputes/violence, and equally proud of their excessive drug/alcohol consumption. Know-nothing, do nothing people. I can make these statements because I lived with this jerks for a long time. You guys only deal with them on the street for a few moments. Imagine a building where people rode the elevators all day looking for victims, knocking on every door, calling every room in search of money or food. Imagine choosing to walk up nine flights of stairs because you know you might be assaulted on the elevator. Imagine having to use the laundromat down the street because you know if you leave your clothes washing unattended somebody will steal them and try to sell them back to you. They still managed to steal a nice shirt every single time I went to the laundromat. If I went to Ezra or some other place to get food, I would leave my wallet and cellphone home and only carry as much money as I needed, or none. For a reasonably decent person such as myself to have to live like this is maddening. These thugs wouldn't have customers and turf to fight over if the aforementioned drug addicts were banished to other places and spread out.

  39. C.P. - Thank you for sharing your story.

    You again confirm that LH is a problem that needs to be dealt with proactively.

    It's a shame that this goes on at all, but LH is in our own community, and a property the community can influence.

    This building needs to be high on the list of "Problem Buildings" where proactive, creative, and fair plans must be developed and executed upon.

  40. @Jeffo... I'm afraid I do not know which bank it is. I will try to find out. Plus, I am not sure if it was an employee of the bank, or another patron. (I assumed it was an employee just because of the conversation. I don't usually talk to bank patrons myself, only employees).