All was well as Sunday afternoon eased into Sunday evening on the Near North Side. The weather was pretty nice. People were playing with their dogs in Durso Park. Then, all hell broke loose.
“As a witness, I would estimate that greater than 50 shots were fired – perhaps 100,” a CWB Chicago reader said Tuesday. “Automatic weapons were clearly in use and shots were randomly fired throughout the neighborhood – hitting cars and buildings, but fortunately no people.”
“Given the weather, it was very busy and I saw many terrified people running for cover. The firepower was so intense that at least three condo buildings in River North more than five blocks away had windows shot out. It truly is a miracle that no one was hit.”
The shootout unfolded around 6:10 p.m. on the 800 block of North Sedgwick, according to CPD records. Police dispatchers told cops the 911 switchboard was blowing up with calls of shots fired from the area.
“I have 23 tickets on the board for shots fired,” a dispatcher said as the calls rolled in.
Moody Bible Institute reportedly put its campus on lockdown.
And, yes, bullets really did hit high-rise residential windows blocks away.
As it turns out, police arrested a man who allegedly admitted that he fired some of the shots. Officers also recovered a gun that he reportedly said was his. He’s a twice-convicted felon who is barred by law from possessing a firearm.
He’s charged with a misdemeanor. Cook County prosecutors refused to charge him with felony gun violations and reckless discharge of a firearm, records show.
When cops arrived at the scene, they found shell casings in the intersection of Sedgwick and Locust streets. Witnesses provided cops with descriptions of two suspects — a man and a woman — who ran from a shot-up silver Chevy Equinox that was sitting in the street, Assistant State’s Attorney Zebulon Black said Tuesday.
Helpfully, two people told cops that a man and woman had just run into the woman’s restroom of a nearby restaurant.
Black said police found 20-year-old Anthony Newman inside the restroom. There was a handgun in the garbage bin next to him, according to Black. There were no bullets in it.
After being advised of his right to remain silent, Newman told police he put the gun in the trash can and admitted he shot at some other people “to protect himself and his wife,” according to Black. He allegedly said he ran into the bathroom to see if he had been shot.
Newman also told police he carries a gun for protection and he would be dead if he didn’t shoot back, Black alleged.
The prosecutor also told Judge David Navarro that Newman was convicted of aggravated robbery with a firearm in 2019 and possession of a stolen motor vehicle in 2021, both of which are felonies.
Yet, Newman is only charged with a misdemeanor count of possessing a firearm without a valid Firearm Owner’s ID (FOID) card.
Navarro pointed out that, as a convicted felon, Newman couldn’t get an FOID card if he wanted to.
“This is charged as a misdemeanor,” Navarro said, with a bit of wonder in his voice.
Newman’s public defender said he has two children and works part-time as an Uber Eats delivery driver.
Navarro set bail at $10,000. Newman must post 10% of that to get out of jail.
Chicago police took at least three reports for criminal damage to condo and apartment windows after the shootout: on the 400 block of West Huron, the 300 block of West Superior, and the 300 block of West Erie. They also took a report for a car that was hit by gunfire at Huron and Orleans.
“This truly was a terrifying event for those present,” the witness told CWB Tuesday. “Just another example of a complete disregard for the safety and quality of life of city residents.”