2 shot outside River North restaurant on Friday evening; cops eye links to West Town carjacking

A gunman shot a man and woman as they stepped into their car outside a River North restaurant on Friday evening, and there are indications the case may be linked to a recent armed carjacking in West Town.

Police said a 22-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman were exiting a restaurant on the 400 block of North Wabash when a gunman stepped out of a white Audi, drew a gun, and began shooting. According to witnesses, it happened around 9:07 p.m. at 444 North Wabash, a building that houses Kitchen + Kocktails and Benny’s Chop House.

A source said the victims were actually inside the male victim’s car outside the building when they were shot. Photos from the scene show a set of bullet holes in the driver’s window of a black Infiniti.

Evidence markers dot Wabash Avenue and the victims’ car following a double-shooting on December 17, 2021. | Provided

The male victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his left torso and is listed in serious condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The woman, who sustained a gunshot wound to her thigh, was in good condition at the same hospital.

About 45 minutes before the shooting, CPD intelligence resources began tracking a recently-carjacked white Audi Q5 as it entered the Loop from the Eisenhower Expressway. CWBChicago has learned that the Audi was taken at gunpoint from a man on the 1100 block of North Ashland on Tuesday evening.

According to tracking information, the Audi rolled along Lower Wacker Drive and crossed the Franklin Street bridge before the shooting, but officers on the ground were unable to locate it.

The hijacked Audi popped up again in the Loop within a minute of the shooting. A few minutes later, the Audi was more than eight miles away in the Austin neighborhood, according to trackers.

No arrests have been made in Friday’s shooting. The victims are the 64th and 65th persons shot on the Near North Side this year. There were 42 shooting victims in the area through all of last year and 33 in 2019.

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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