3 arrested after shots fired in Loop overnight; Another hotel party blamed

Three people are in custody after shots were fired outside Harold Washington College in the Loop early Friday. And, once again, the gunfire appears to be connected with people who were partying in a hotel.

No injuries were reported.

Police responded to calls of shots fired near the first block of East Lake Street at 12:28 a.m. They quickly located two shell casings at 30 East Lake, which is the entrance to Harold Washington, according to a report.

A security guard from the Virgin Hotel, 203 North Wabash, saw a group of men involved in the shooting get into an Infiniti G35 and drive away, police said. Within minutes, cops found the car sitting parked on the first block of East Wacker Drive a few minutes later.

Police arrested the three men who were inside the car and seized a gun, police said.

Meanwhile, employees at the Virgin Hotel asked cops to help them clear out a party that was apparently associated with the group police arrested.

Charges are pending against the occupants of the Infiniti. CWBChicago will post an updated story with additional details after prosecutors approve charges.

Hotel parties

Downtown hotels have been offering sharply reduced rates for the past year as most people stopped traveling during the COVID pandemic. Entry-level guest rooms that would draw nightly rates of $300 during ordinary times have been offered for less than $100.

And some people have been taking advantage of those rock-bottom prices by hosting large parties in guest rooms. City officials blamed hotel party attendees for a spike in violence along the river last summer, and incidents continue to be reported.

In some recent incidents:

  • Police arrested six men and seized six guns when a traffic stop led them to a party in the Eurostars Magnificent Mile hotel, 660 North State, on March 7.
  • On February 28, a man was charged with a gun violation after he fired a weapon into the air to break up a fight outside the LondonHouse.
  • A man was shot with a rifle inside a room at the Hampton Inn River North, 33 West Illinois, on January 30.
  • A shoot-out at the Swissotel, 323 East Wacker, left a man injured on November 7.

But, things are quickly returning to normal as people become vaccinated. Travel is increasing and hotel prices are on the way back up.

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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