A suspect is in custody after a 19-year-old man was shot in the face near the North Avenue Beach House on Tuesday night. Chicago police said three officers suffered minor injuries as they tried to break up fights among young people who streamed into the nearby Old Town neighborhood after being swept from the lakefront following the shooting.
Police officers at the beach reported shots fired around 9:50 p.m. between the landmark boat-shaped beach house and the pedestrian bridge crossing Lake Shore Drive.
A source said the man was shot in the face, but he was talking to first responders at the scene. EMS took the victim to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition.
Other cops quickly apprehended a suspect and recovered a handgun, according to the CPD media statement.
Officers reported that fights broke out at the beach before and after the shooting. Police moved people off the lakefront after the shooting, and more fights erupted as the crowd made its way inland.
Several brawls were reported near North Avenue and Wells Street in the heart of Old Town. There, officers were injured while trying to stop a fight around 10:50 p.m., according to a second CPD statement. Police arrested a 16-year-old boy at the scene.
The police statement said one officer sustained scrapes and cuts to their arms while another received swelling to their right eye. Both were treated at the scene. A third officer was struck in the back of the head with an object, police said. He was treated and released at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
CTA temporarily rerouted North Avenue buses to avoid the area, but service was restored overnight, according to a tweet from the transit agency.
Last month, the same Old Town streets were overrun by mostly young people as police closed North Avenue Beach following a social media-fueled “takeover.”
Editor’s note: CPD’s media statement incorrectly reported that the North Avenue Beach shooting occurred at 8:56 p.m. In fact, it happened an hour earlier.