A man shot in River North overnight is in critical condition, according to Chicago police, but little is known about what happened. He is the 21st person shot in the neighborhood this year, a 133 percent increase from each of the past three years.
As of last July 12, CPD Supt. David Brown refused to discuss the neighborhood’s shooting surge because he considered the topic to be a “divisive conversation.”
Officers on patrol in the area heard gunfire around 3:08 a.m. and then received calls of shots fired in the first block of West Illinois, across from a sprawling firehouse. Police said a 30-year-old man suffered gunshot wounds to his abdomen and torso. He was unable to talk, and EMS took him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said.
At the scene, investigators discovered shell casings and bullet-damaged cars.
CPD arrest records show the victim has been arrested three times on charges related to narcotics sales since 2020.
The shooting occurred outside a building that houses Underground, a late-night bar, and RPM Italian.
River North recorded nine shooting victims as of this date in 2019, 2020, and 2021, according to records maintained by CWBChicago. There have been 21 victims this year.
Last week, Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), whose ward includes parts of River North, suggested that he might push to have all late-night liquor licenses downtown revoked. Bars with late licenses can serve customers until 5 a.m. on Sundays and 4 a.m. on other days.
Brendan Reilly (42nd), the area’s other alderman, said he wants to “focus on revoking the morons” who operate problem bars.
As of last week, there had been 91 shooting incidents in the second and 42nd wards downtown since 2020. Chicago police only sought charges in 13 of those incidents, and prosecutors approved charges in 12 of the cases, according to public records.
A downtown alderman wants to end late-hour liquor service in his ward due to shootings. Those are bars that serve until 4 a.m. (5 a.m. on Sunday mornings)— CWBChicago (@CWBChicago) July 14, 2022
Here, by hour, are the number of shooting and murder incidents in the two primary downtown wards since January 2020. https://t.co/SG5rBjp6dL pic.twitter.com/loogZX7AF1
So far this year, the Near North Side community area, which includes River North, has seen 47 shooting victims, up from 19 at this point last year, 27 in 2020, and 23 as of July 21, 2019.