Boystown: Shots fired as clouds of pepper spray send Pride revelers running overnight

Gunfire broke out in the heart of Boystown early Monday after people discharged pepper spray in a large group of revelers that overtook the Halsted Street bar strip to celebrate Chicago’s traditional Pride weekend. While police did not find anyone with gunshot injuries, several people were overcome by pepper spray, according to officers at the scene.

A Boystown resident provided CWBChicago with surveillance footage that captured the distinct sound of gunfire. Social media videos show people running away from the intersection of Halsted and Roscoe after the incident.

Videos from the area show large groups of people milling about in the middle of Halsted and side streets. Partiers danced, chanted, and twerked with minor dust-ups reported through the late night and early morning. As of 10 p.m., the local police commander estimated 3,000 people had gathered.

That changed at 2:12 a.m. Monday when police on the scene reported that people were deploying pepper spray in a large group gathered around Halsted Street between Roscoe Street and Buckingham Place.

A resident who lives on the 700 block of West Roscoe provided CWBChicago with surveillance camera footage that clearly captured the sound of fourteen gunshots. The gunfire caused the crowd, many already fighting off pepper spray, to make hastier exits from the area.

Shots were fired on Roscoe Street just west of Halsted around 2:13 a.m. as the crowd tried to get away from clouds of noxious gas, according to witnesses.

Snapchat video shows people running along Halsted Street to get away. Other Snaps show a woman trying to defeat the pepper spray effects by dousing herself with gallons of milk as she sits in the middle of Halsted.

Several ambulances were brought to the area to treat people for various minor injuries. At least four battery victims walked into nearby Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment, too. No felony arrests were reported in connection with the incidents.

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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