Gunman shoots driver in River North as downtown shooting cases soar

A suburban man was shot while driving in River North on Thursday evening, police said. Five people have been shot on the Near North Side since last Friday, three of them in River North. Both areas are experiencing a spike in shootings this year.

In the latest incident, a 38-year-old Des Plaines man pulled over and sought help from police officers who were stationed near Chicago and State around 9:53 p.m. Thursday after someone shot him nearby.

Police at the scene of a shooting on Chicago Avenue near State Street on May 5, 2022. | Courtesy @CPD1617Scanner

The victim told police he was driving east on Chicago Avenue when a brown sedan pulled up on his right side and the gunman opened fire from the other vehicle. He suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen, groin, and right thigh, according to a CPD media statement that said he was in good condition at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Officers at the shooting scene said he was in critical condition.

A police surveillance camera recorded the shooting near the corner of Chicago and Wells. The gunman’s vehicle fled west on Chicago Avenue.

According to CPD media releases, the Near North Side community area, bounded by the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, and North Avenue, has recorded 15 shooting victims so far this year. Three of them died. At this point last year, there were three shooting victims, four by May 6, 2020, and seven at this point in 2019.

The River North neighborhood, which is part of the Near North Side, has been the scene of nine shootings this year. Comparatively, there was one victim in 2020 and one in 2021. There were four victims at this point in 2019.

The most recent shootings were:

  • in the second-floor hallway of the Sonesta ES Suites hotel, 201 East Walton, around 5 a.m. Sunday. Police said an 18-year-old man died in a shootout after women who rented a room allowed a group of men to enter through an emergency exit.
  • on the 300 block of North State near Marina City at 1:05 a.m. last Saturday. According to police, a man shot two women following an altercation in a nearby bowling alley. CPD said the gunman knows the victims, one of whom died.
  • on the 100 block of West Hubbard around 10 p.m. on April 23. Police said the victim was shot five times after he confronted a man who was involved in an “earlier incident.” Prosecutors declined to prosecute the gunman.

Police are also investigating a man’s claim that he was shot during a home invasion on the first block of West Elm. CWBChicago reported that investigators suspect the man shot himself. Another man’s claim to being shot on the 600 block of North McClurg has also not been confirmed by investigators.

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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