Loop hotel shoot-out leaves man injured overnight, police say

A shoot-out in a Loop hotel elevator lobby ended with one gunman hospitalized and the other on the loose, police said Saturday morning. The same hotel was the scene of two separate stabbing incidents over the summer.

Two men began arguing as they rode an elevator at Swissotel, 323 East Wacker, around 1:43 a.m. today, police said. The argument turned physical, and the men began shooting each other as they exited the elevator at the lobby level.

One of the shooters, a 33-year-old, received a gunshot wound to his right arm. Police recovered a weapon from him, and charges are under consideration, according to CPD. An ambulance transported the man to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he is in good condition.

The victim is a licensed concealed-carry holder. CPD arrest show he was charged with drinking in public and violating concealed-carry laws during an incident in 2018.

The other gunman, described as a Black male with an Afro hairstyle and neck tattoos, was wearing a colorful pullover with a white shirt. He got away and cops don’t know if he was shot.

Area Three detectives found three shell casings lying near the lobby elevators. Their investigation continues.

This morning’s victim is the Loop’s second shooting victim of the week, the fourth to be shot in a month, and the 17th shooting victim of the year, according to records maintained by CWBChicago. By comparison, only three people were shot in the Loop during all of last year.

Rock-bottom rates for hotel rooms, driven by a lack of demand during the COVID-19 outbreak, were blamed for a surge in violence near downtown hotels this summer.

Earlier incidents

Two violent cases were reported at Swissotel during June and July:

On June 22, a 30-year-old woman was stabbed repeatedly by another woman during a fight inside the hotel, according to police and CPD dispatch records. The offender left the scene on foot. Police said the victim suffered cuts to her head and arm as well as multiple stab wounds to her back.

Witnesses reported seeing a group of about 20 people outside the hotel and more inside the lobby around the time of the incident.

A few weeks later, a 19-year-old man was stabbed in the stomach when an argument turned violent outside Swissotel early on July 29. Witnesses reported seeing a group of five people walk into the Swissotel after the stabbing. Other participants in the fight went into a nearby parking garage. No arrests have been made.

Swissotel was advertising rooms for as little as $83 Friday night. Similar rooms drew rates above $250 one year ago.

Summertime violence

This summer’s downtown violence wave started making headlines on July 19 when a man was killed and a woman injured in a double shooting on the Wabash Bridge. Police released a video of the incident that clearly shows a significant CPD presence was deployed to Wacker Drive at the time of the shooting.

Another man was shot just south of the Wabash Bridge on Saturday. Prosecutors charged a friend of that victim with shooting at the gunman as he ran from the scene.

On Sunday, July 26, another man was shot as he sat in a car near Wacker and Columbus drives, less than a block from the Swissotel. Shortly after the shooting, police arrested a man who was allegedly carrying a gun with an extended magazine near the LondonHouse hotel, about three blocks away.

In addition to the violence along the river, another man was critically wounded in a shooting near the W Chicago Lakeshore hotel in Streeterville on Sunday.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com