Shooting leaves man critically wounded while driving in North Center

A 21-year-old man is in critical condition — and may be felony charges — after he was shot while driving in North Center early Wednesday.

The man was driving when someone fired shots at him from a white Audi SUV at the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Montrose Avenue around 1:50 a.m., police said. One round struck him in the neck, which caused him to lose control of his vehicle, according to police. He plowed the car into a tree, over a parking meter pay box, and into the door of Lou Malnati’s, 4340 North Lincoln.

Police said the critically wounded victim managed to run from officers as they approached the crashed car. Cops detained him nearby and recovered a gun and narcotics that he threw into a yard, according to police.

Fire department personnel took the victim to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Area Three detectives are investigating the shooting, which is the fourth of the year for North Center. By comparison, the neighborhood had only four shootings for all of 2019 and 2020 combined. Three of those victims died.

Also in North Center, a 37-year-old woman died Sunday morning when a vehicle that police said may have been involved in a rolling gunfight along Irving Park Road collided with the SUV she was riding in.

The impact threw Janelle Gardiner from the car at Irving Park and Western Avenue around 3:03 a.m. She was later pronounced dead.

The occupants of the car that struck Gardiner’s vehicle climbed into an SUV that stopped to pick them up. No arrests have been made.

Dispatch records show a CPD canine officer saw the occupants of a car shooting at another vehicle as they sped westbound on Irving Park Road from Damen Avenue moments before the crash. Police initially announced that the occupants of a Toyota Camry and a black sedan were shooting at each other, but the department later backed away from that statement and said they were not sure if shots came from two vehicles or only one.

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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