Party bus drive-by leaves 8 shot in Old Town, police say

Eight people were injured when someone opened fire on a party bus late Wednesday night in Old Town, police said. The victims include two employees of the bus company and a man who was struck by a bullet while getting gas at a nearby service station, according to a source.

Police said in a media statement that it was not clear if the party bus victims were inside or outside the vehicle when shots were fired from inside a dark gray Jeep Grand Cherokee around 11:57 p.m. on the 1600 block of North LaSalle. The Jeep, which reportedly bears a stolen Chicago Blackhawks license plate, then fled westbound on North Avenue. A black Jeep Grand Cherokee was also involved in the shooting, according to CPD’s statement.

Video recorded from nearby high-rise shows the bus pulled to the curb next to BP, 1647 North LaSalle, as ambulances arrive and police search the pavement for evidence. At least 25 shell casings were reportedly found at the scene.

According to dispatch records, officers applied three tourniquets to victims at the scene to help restrict blood loss. A witness reported seeing bullet holes in the party bus.

According to police and sources, the victims are:

  • two men who work for the party bus company — a 52-year-old driver and a 42-year-old security guard. They were taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in fair condition with gunshot wounds to their legs. The older man is a licensed concealed carry holder, but he did not draw his weapon during the incident, according to a CPD report.
  • a 23-year-old passenger who was seated in a car that was being filled with gas at the BP station. He fled the scene with three others in the vehicle and contacted police a short time later. The man was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition with a gunshot wound to his groin. Police found a bullet hole in the car’s driver’s door and an expended bullet in the back seat.
  • a 26-year-old female passenger from the party bus who was celebrating her birthday is in serious condition at Northwestern with a gunshot wound to her leg.
  • a 24-year-old man who was with the bus party is in fair condition at Northwestern
  • a 26-year-old woman who transported herself to Jackson Park Hospital is in good condition with a gunshot wound to the hand
  • a 27-year-old man who was taken by car to Northwestern is in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the chest
  • a 29-year-old man who drove himself to Rush Hospital was transferred to Stroger Hospital in fair condition with a gunshot wound to his arm

Police said three male victims who were part of the celebration have histories with CPD. Records show one of the men has been arrested three times for felony gun charges since 2015, most recently in July 2020. Those men were not working for the bus company.

Area Three detectives are investigating.

Wednesday’s shooting came two years and one day after Lincoln Park’s last mass shooting.

Seven people, mostly women, were shot near the entrance to Theater on the Lake, 2401 North Lake Shore Drive, at 3:20 a.m. on July 20, 2019. Police said a group of people was walking toward the lakefront when they encountered another group that was leaving. A verbal altercation broke out and escalated, causing people from both groups to pull out handguns and open fire, police said at the time. No charges have ever been filed.

This story was updated at 2:10 p.m. on July 22, 2021.

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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