Thursday, July 28, 2011

Was That Thunder? Nope

We are getting several reports of a midnight shooting near Wilson and Malden, right in the middle of a thunderstorm.  Literally, just after 12am.
"In the middle of the torrential downpour, six loud shots rang out. I went to the window to see what I could see and didn't see a soul outside. After a minute I hear a woman screaming "He's been shot!" and I was finally able to see her walking west down Wilson towards Godfather's Pizza.

I don't know where the shooting actually occurred but it was in the Wilson and Malden area. I called 911 and reported the shots fired. Police and medics are on the scene and they seem to be using Godfather's as their shelter with the rain and lightning still pouring down. Not 10 minutes earlier was I pondering the fact that with a major storm, the streets of Uptown are safe for once. So much for that."
Update:  According to a commenter on UU's Facebook page, an African American male was hit and was taken away by ambulance.

Update 2:  Many readers are also telling us about hearing shots around Leland, east of Sheridan.  These seem to have happened around 12:45am.  Two different incidents?

Update 3:  According to CBS2:  "A 24-year-old man was shot in the foot, a 20-year-old man suffered a gun shot wound in the leg, and a 26-year-old woman sustained a graze wound to the calf, police said. They were all taken in good condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center."  Read more about it here.

If you have any further details, please add them in the comments.


  1. That's very strange, as about 10 minutes ago I called 911 after gun shots near our 920 address and Uplift. If those shots were all the way over on Malden they must have been using a canon.

  2. Yep — heard the shots from the east side of the park on Leland near the cul-de-sac.

  3. unless the shot individual also went into the Godfather's Pizza for shelter, the police did not go in there to get out of the rain. i'm fairly certain that i saw them take the individual out of the establishment on a stretcher.

  4. I live on the corner of Wilson and Malden and counted seven VERY loud shots. Called police, lots of activity for some time, and one young man taken by ambulance. The usual gang of suspects had been hanging out on the sidewalk across from Starbucks all evening into night. I had been in Godfather's only 20 minutes earlier, asking about an older woman I saw wandering around the neighborhood to be sure she was okay and had shelter for the night. The police are still patrolling and shining lights on the block, looking for someone.

  5. If Malden had shots fired, it's virtually certain we've had two separate incidents. For the record, either five or six shots were fired here... and extremely close by.

  6. I heard 6-7 distinctive shots on my way home near Broadway/Lawrence while it was poring out. Pretty freaky during all that rain and thunder. What I heard was definitely just a few blocks away, South West of there.

  7. The good news is that this will only last until October...maybe November...possibly December, but that's it...unless January is unseasonably warm then it could filter in to February.

    Since "Operation Sugar Magnolia" "shut them down" I have witnessed the P Stones multiply like they were mogwais and someone got them wet. Unfortunately people keep feeding them after midnight as well.

    I stepped out at 7pm yesterday and the thuggest of the thugs were out, shirts off, pants at the knees, shouting profanities across Wilson. There has also been an uptick in aggressive panhandling in the Sheridan Park area the last few weeks.

  8. Not a huge surprise since the gang presence and drug activity over there is up and running just like before (Operation Sugar Magnolia).

  9. Shots were very loud at Wilson and Magnolia. when things settled I looked out the window but saw nothing.

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  11. If we started licensing the shelters and making sure drug addicts and sex offenders that live there go away, thus arent buying from these guys, much of this violence disappears.. NO market from drugs, no reason to stay in Uptown

  12. I understand that two people were shot.

    I don't have much information, but it did not sound like either injury was life threatening.

    With new Leadership in the Ward, it's time for a new plan to respond to this and offensively work on longer-term solutions.

    We need to get at the root of the factors that facilitate the concentration of this crap here.

    I am sorry, but there is a higher and better use for valuable Uptown real estate than housing criminals and urban terrorists...

  13. I heard what sounded like a few shots in the distance. I am by Leland and Malden.

    Sirens very shortly afterwards...

    Its always a challenge to locate where a shot is fire the way the sound ricochets off buildings.

  14. I saw a white car pull up on Eastwood near Uplift at around 12:30 am. I was walking home from parking my car. A man exited the car and began to walk extremely fast towards me. I started walking faster and then turned to see if he was following me. He pulled out a gun and fired about 5 or 6 shots towards wilson and hazel. I hid in the alley until I heard the car drive off. The police have all of my information. I've never been so scared in my life.

  15. Mindy, that corresponds to info from others here at 920 Wilson... one woman here saw not the shooter but others running away toward Hazel as he shot.

    I think it a bit much to link shelters to gang violence, by the way. There's no real evidence the two are linked. That said, I'll be glad for any constructive solutions the Alderman's office and/or various ones of us in the neighborhood can come up with. Gang violence, unfortunately, is not just an Uptown problem and may require city and even state and federal help to seriously impact.

  16. One other scary thought... where did those five or six bullets go? I'm sometimes amazed there isn't more collateral damage to these shootings.

  17. I personally don't link gang violence to shelters or homes as much as I link it to gang members...

    I witness a lot of gang members going into and out of public housing in Uptown, so, unfortunately I have linked gang members to public housing (fairly or not).

    Not the same as saying all (or even most) residents of public housing or other affordable housing are gang members, but it is a matter of fact that you can link the two to some degree and should not be ignored.

    If you are a gang member and infringing on other people's perception of safety and quality of life, I don't want you or people that harbor you in our community AT ALL regardless of whether you are visiting, living in public or subsidized housing, or your own condo or 5000 square foot mansion.

  18. Same old, same old. Too many shelters, too much section 8 and too many thugs. They all need to go.

  19. Where are these people loitering?
    And why is it being tolerated?

    Just Curious, Brenda says they are hanging on wilson across from starbucks. So that must mean the minimall.

    Thats the problem with a minimall, the building is not flush with the sidewalk, because Im pretty sure businesses right on the sidewalk wouldnt tolerate loitering.

    Why the minimall businessess and owner shouldnt tolerate the loitering on the corner. It SHOULD come from them.

    I had the same problem on Morse with the Laundrymat minimall across from JB albertos. And I talked with JBS and the laundrymat owner many many times about it and it has improved of late. THIS should be tolerated. The starbucks should step up and call the cops as well about loitering/throwing gangsigns whatever.

    Who in their right mind would want to go to coffee shop when thugs are loitering across the street? Its ludicrous. Starbucks needs to call the cops.

    Businesses can call in loitering or whatever even if its across the street. Its bad for business and its public safety!

    If i lived on that corner I would be calling the cops all the time.

    The gangs are obnoxious they will continue to try loitering there as long as its tolerated. If you dont like it I would talk with the businesses as to why they arent calling the cops, I would myself be calling 911 every 10-15 minutes while they were loitering and tell them that bangers were throwing signs.

    DONT GIVE UP. Never stop.
    The gangs expect you too.
    Who wants it more? Thats who gets the corner.

  20. The gangs loiter in the path of least resistance.

    Why is that corner across from Starbucks the path of least resistance?

    Resist them. Never stop.
    Never not call 911 on loitering/throwing signs.
    And continue calling until the cops show up and move them on their way.

    Apathy is bad, dont wait for shooting to occur to call 911.

  21. Hey Jon.. when are you folks going to get some paint and scrub brushes and clean up your buildings on Wilson? You were all about the aesthetic look of the Maryville project yet I have not seen you folks do a darn thing to help fix up your buildings..they look like crap.. how about adding a little more love to the neighborhood and a little less ghetto? Then we can start to talk about all the shelters JPUSA runs with no police background check. Which, in my opinion is probably putting our children and seniors at risk... =)

  22. Uptown S.... sorry, but I'm not going to be baited by rude (and off-topic) comments. I posted here because all of us want to stop gang activity and the more any of us know the better off we all are.

  23. Jon,to your point, the unlicensed nature of all the shelters in Uptown, I believe, contributes GREATLY to the gang problem.It brings in criminal activity from other parts of the city, concentrates it in Uptown, and allows the gangs to have a ready source of customers. The lack of responsible controls on who is living in the shelters threatens the lives of our children and elderly... so there was no rude comment there.. merely an educated observation... my comment on the JPUSA buildings looking like crap and are a horrible gateway to Uptown, while true, might be construed as rude. So, Jon, I am sincerely sorry that I think the JPUSA buildings on Wilson between Clarendon and Sheridan look like crap. I hope you accept my apology.

  24. I went to bed around 11 and was falling asleep to the storm and then I heard the gunshots, it was definitely 7 maybe even a little more. I live on Malden just a few paces away from Godfather's and it sounded like the shots were coming from the alley. Unfortunately, I did not get up to look out the window but my boyfriend did. Our bedroom window faces the alley and I'm sure if he saw something he would tell me so I assume this shooting took place on the street. We also didn't hear any screaming after the gunshots.

    I love Uptown for so many reasons and hate to see it run amok by thugs. I also hate to hear that people want to leave because of this nonsense. I understand this is scary but we need to stay together as a community or else the thugs will get free rein and move to other neighborhoods in the area.

    I put my trust in James Capplemen to get this matter fixed and I put my trust in everyone in the neighborhood to band together and fight these jerks.

  25. Things had been pretty quiet until this week. What in the gang life accounted for the change? Did someone get released from prison/jail recently?

  26. Please join us for an hour of Positive Loitering tomorrow night, Friday 7/29, from 7-8pm at one of the following corners:
    Wilson and Hazel
    Wilson and Magnolia
    Sheridan and Leland

    Positive Loitering is a way gives us a chance to meet each other, pet each other's dogs, support the police by calling in suspicious activity, making it generally uncomfortable for "negative loitering" to take place, and demonstrate that there is a growing number of people that find these shootings unacceptable. The police support and greatly appreciate these Positive Loitering events. They are non-confrontational and truly demonstrate strength in numbers. Friendly dogs are certainly welcome.

    Positive Loitering has been going on throughout the city for over a year. The Sheridan and Leland corner has a regular Friday night Positive Loitering meetup. Here's an article that says more:

    It has been a relatively quiet summer, and we would like it to stay that way. Your presence makes the difference for our safety. Please spread the word to your neighbors-- See you tomorrow night!

  27. I have a relative who has worked with/studied gangs extensively, and I've learned that these guys are REQUIRED to hang out on certain corners during certain hours, to stake out their turf and keep other gangs away and sell drugs and whatever else. They literally have shifts where they must guard that corner until 2 am or whatever. If they don't fulfill their duty, they're punished (usually a good ol' beat-down by their gang brothers). My point is, these guys are gonna loiter and it's not easy to change this.

  28. lots of great comments (I really love

    There is a PROBLEM with these thugs running amok on Wilson (and elsewhere). Where do these idiots live, any way?

    And Alma, if you're going to make a video up here, be careful!

  29. L train that doesnt surprise me.

    At my corner in Rogers Park I would see thugs drive up and come to my corner like it was their job.
    They dont bother anymore though.

    Yes its their job. Our job is to hassle them until its not worth it for them to even show up. Resist!!!

  30. Jeffo, just wanted to reply that I mostly see this gang of young men (and the occasional girl) close to Wilson and Malden, basically in front of the convenience store there, near Godfather's. They do also loiter within the mini-mall that houses Subway across from the Starbucks on Wilson, and on its sidewalks.

    When I first moved to Uptown, I called the police often. My second night in the neighborhood was October 31st, 2010, the night a gang member was shot in the leg by one of his own, apparently, again, near that convenience store. I had called police twice that evening prior to the shooting to report open alcohol containers and pot smoking on the sidewalk. The police came by MANY times, both cruising by and speaking to the men and women present, but the group never left their spot. Later, the shooting occurred.

  31. I have a question for everyone that is posting to this. How many of you have actually stood outside and tried to get to know one of these so called " Thugs"? how many of you have actually tried to reach out to one of these young people? Because i have never seen any of you out there. you all hide in your houses and blog about a situation when it arises that makes you all a bunch of hypocrites. you really know better than the one's that you feel are attacking your community. Belive that this blog site breeds fear. Fear in the sense that it disables people from getting to their neighbor. especially if their of a lesser social/ economical status as their counter parts. i like the fact that this site dose inform the community. but it seems that the this site has lately been used to down a sertin class of people. That is what i have a problem with

  32. Uptown Anthony, we're past the Helen Shiller era of "class warfare to benefit the alderman", so hang it up, OK? I get really tired of hearing all this crap about "have you tried to get to know the people you call 'thugs'?" and the theories about reverse terror. If you must know, the answer is YES, we have more than made piddly attempts to get to know our neighbors--gang members or not. We are on great terms with many of our neighbors who live in condos, in Section 8 buildings, scattered-site buildings, and CHA buildings--many of them live in fear of the gang members in their own buildings. We also have reached out to gang members, some from an early age--and gang peer-pressure that pushes them deeper into criminal activities is a lot more powerful than family ties can even muster. Perhaps you haven't learned too much about these things and need to get to know the mothers of these gang members to learn something about how these things work.

    Please remember, too, that "getting to know the neighborhood 'thugs'" is a two-way street--if I'm outside trying to squeeze in chores away from my full-time job, like picking up trash (frequently tossed there by gang members), or sweeping the sidewalk in front of our building, or watering plants...I make a conscious decision to smile and say hello to passersby. Friendly conversations sometimes come from those encounters, and sometimes there are icy stares without reply--from the gang members (and believe me, I know who they are). Am I going to run out there with a pitcher of iced tea right after gun shots, while there are dozen young men laughing and trash-talking? Absolutely not. And I'm not going to go knocking on doors just to say "hello" to someone I only see when he's obviously out making deals--I don't have time and don't have the inclination. On the other hand, if I'm standing out there with a watering hose and say hello, it's no hair off our "friendly teenaged thug's" behind to say hello back. It's a two-way street. So don't act holier-than-thou when YOU don't know any better about what so many of us try to do, my friend.

  33. @ Uptown Anthony

    I would love to get to know these "thugs" as I believe that everyone deserves some respect until they prove they don't; HOWEVER, unless I walk by and say, "Good Morning" in an extra loud voice, they don't even seem to notice that I am there! It's that thing they do where they look past your shoulder, chin up and out, swaggering slowly and refusing to make eye contact. Not too inviting, and it certainly does not encourage one to "get to know them" as you put it.

    So, if you see a white lady with a small dog greeting the "thugs" in a loud voice, you'll know it's me. And if you're one of them, you'll greet me back. We can be the first in helping to bridge the gap that was so wide for too many years.

  34. Some of the children and young adults are students and former students, or parents or family members of students in the Uptown Community. Greeting them by name won't build a bridge as many bridges have already been burned-decisions have been made (or forced) to leave families, friends, school, and society. The gangs will continue to supply as long as there is a demand. The gangs will continue to thrive as long as there are lonely, hungry, or curious children that can be used and abused. The gangs will continue until we say they are over by stepping up, reaching out, and working together. It is a tragedy that the CBOE/CPS won't hire community representatives to ensure that shelters provide a safe place to reside-our students' attendance and health are in decline as the violence persists and citizenship erodes.

  35. Brava, Little Tomato! You hit the nail on the head...that swaggering and attitude problem you described is what I was attempting to get at by referring to a "two-way street". Thank you!

  36. Attitudes need to change all around before anything happens.

    Maybe if we all can "positive loiter" together, and that could at least open the door.

    It is a two-way street...with some road blocks in the way. It is unrealistic to expect a singular "yuppie" to just approach a group of 5 or more teenagers no matter who they are....nobody is that Polly-Ana....

  37. @ Littleton~

    I assure you that I am not a Pollyanna, and am cringing if I came across that way because I really despise those types. They are the ones who are driven by guilt and try to alleviate it by doing stupid things like baking cookies for gang bangers. I am more of a respectful optimist. As for approaching groups of teenagers, I do it all the time simply because I have a dog and walk around my neighborhood. I'm out, they're hanging out on the sidewalk and we cross paths. Frequently. I am simply tired of being invisible in my neighborhood. Most of the time, I get respectful and even friendly responses and the occasional grunt.

    I want to share a very interesting conversation with a neighbor yesterday. She is black and I am not. Out of nowhere in the middle of our conversation, she basically changed subjects and started giving me a very long and angry history lesson about racism in America. I heard her out and actually agreed with many of her points as they are irrefutable; white people did bad things to black people, and there is no way around that. But her sudden anger caught me by surprise. Then, she started throwing the "N word" and other colorful things around for good measure when imitating what white people "really say behind closed doors."

    What got me was that it seemed so close to the surface and fresh. Like she lives with these feelings all the time. And in her anger, I started feeling like I, being white, was responsible for everything bad that the black community struggles with, despite all her disclaimers and "no offense to white people" phrases dropped here and there throughout the conversation. I just kept saying things like, "Well, change has to start with individual people," and "Racism goes both ways and I have experienced it in my work in the schools often," until I realized that she didn't want to engage in dialogue. She wanted to vent her frustrations, and I was a big ear.

    So, my friends, if other black people here feel as she does--and let's face it, many probably do--we non-black folk really are the enemy, and it'll be a long time before all the different people of this neighborhood really mix. I have been all over this country and travelled extensively internationally. Every society has racist people, but I will say that the segregation is worse here in Chicago than anywhere I have ever been. Even Detroit was less segregated- feeling than Chicago.

    Sorry this post is so long. Just had to get it out.

  38. I hear what your saying Lil Tomato, I've had similar conversations myself.

    As far as Chicago being more segregated then Detroit it wouldn't surprise me. I used to live in New Orleans (8 Years)and after growing up around this neighborhood I saw nothing in the deep south, race relation-wise, that made me blush.

    It starts with individuals...I agree a community we can make arrangements for individuals to interact. Chance meetings aside it will take an extra effort.

    I honestly believe "positive loitering" will have a positive impact ONLY if it becomes desegregated.

    I am optimistic...

  39. @ Littleton

    A whole-hearted AMEN, brother!