Old Town mass shooting: Some victims uncooperative as aldermen promise more cameras, push for federal help

Two North Side aldermen are speaking out after gunmen left eight people injured in Old Town late Wednesday. Meanwhile. CPD Supt. David Brown called a press conference Thursday morning to speak about the incident and two other mass shootings that unfolded in other parts of the city yesterday evening.

Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) and Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) sent messages to their constituents about the Old Town shooting, which targeted a party bus that parked outside BP service station at 1647 North LaSalle shortly before midnight.

The Old Town victims included the bus’ driver and security guard as well as a man who was sitting in a car that was being filled with gasoline at a BP station when shooters opened fire on the bus passengers. Audio of the gunfire was captured by a nearby resident’s security system. They shared it with CWBChicago:

Brown said passengers on the party bus, who were celebrating a birthday, were not cooperating with investigators.

“That signals to us when you don’t cooperate, when you’re silent, that you prefer street justice,” Brown said. “I will just say this: Street justice is never-ending. The appetite for revenge is never satisfied.”

Hopkins, whose ward includes the shooting scene, told constituents that a shooter opened fire on the bus from an SUV after the partiers stopped at the service station to take a break.

“This incident does not appear to be random,” Hopkins said. “Preliminary evidence suggests at least one passenger on the party bus was targeted. At this time, none of the victims are cooperating, no one is in custody, and police have not released a description of the attackers.”

Police previously said three of the party bus victims are “known” to CPD. CWBChicago reported that one of those men has been arrested three times for felony gun charges since 2015, most recently in July 2020.

Hopkins said he had contacted city officials to have a CPD surveillance camera installed at the intersection of LaSalle Drive and Clark Street. The BP station and a nearby Shell gas station have also agreed to hire private security patrols and install cameras that will be linked to the city’s surveillance network, he said.

Ald. Smith, whose ward borders on the shooting scene, said, “the scourge of gun violence is why I support mandatory gun sentencing and continue to push that federal resources being made available are brought to bear on controlling gun violence in our communities.”

“We must more aggressively prosecute and sentence gun offenders,” Smith said.

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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