North Side alderman says a 15-year-old boy’s “lifestyle” led to him being shot on the street

A Chicago alderman is telling his constituents that a 15-year-old boy was shot in his ward Tuesday due to the teen’s “lifestyle.” Well, he was saying that until we called him out.

Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) did not identify the “certain lifestyle” that 15-year-olds choose in order to become shooting victims. After CWBChicago tweeted a copy of Vasquez’s statement on Wednesday morning, the alderman sent a “correction” to his previous statement. Now he says the shooting “appeared to be what some would call ‘gang-related.'”

Ald. Andre Vasquez | 40th Ward

Witnesses initially reported seeing two people fighting in the street on the 2500 block of West Thorndale around 7:35 p.m. as a small group of bystanders watched. Moments later, 911 callers said the boy had been shot.

Police said in a media statement that the teen was walking on the sidewalk when he suffered a gunshot wound to his right leg. EMS took him to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston in good condition.

About two hours after the boy was shot, Vasquez sent the following email to constituents:

PUBLIC SAFETY UPDATE FROM ALDER VASQUEZ
July 5th, 2022

The Chicago Police Department 20th District reported that at approximately 7:45pm this evening, a 15 year old was shot in the leg by Thorndale and Maplewood. It is believed that the incident was associated with a certain lifestyle, and not random, but the investigation is currently ongoing.

If neighbors have security camera footage or any information about the incident, please contact the 20th District (312-742-8714).

Our office will continue to update residents on any developments that we are able to share as the investigation develops.

CWBChicago tweeted a screenshot of his email shortly before 9 o’clock Wednesday morning. And 22 minutes later, Vasquez sent another email, saying the “incident … appeared to be what some would call ‘gang-related.'”

PUBLIC SAFETY UPDATE CORRECTION FROM ALDER VASQUEZ
July 6th, 2022

Good morning Neighbors,

Last night, in an attempt to be expeditious with a statement, I referred to the victim in an incident as being “associated with a certain lifestyle” with led to some confusion.

The intent was to communicate that the incident was not random – that it appeared to be what some would call “gang-related.”

Since it was not confirmed to be, I was attempting to communicate that it appeared to be targeted, but did not want to use the term “gang” without confirmation.

I apologize for my poor wording and am issuing the statement again with the edit that states that the incident did not appear to be random, which was the initial intent.

Below is the corrected statement:

The Chicago Police Department 20th District reported that at approximately 7:45pm this evening, a 15 year old was shot in the leg by Thorndale and Maplewood. It is believed that the incident was not random, but the investigation is currently ongoing.

If neighbors have security camera footage or any information about the incident, please contact the 20th District (312-742-8714).

Our office will continue to update residents on any developments that we are able to share as the investigation develops.

Vasquez is no fan of CWBChicago. After we reported in February 2020 that Chicago police had seized 25 guns and arrested five people who were filming a music video at an Airbnb party in Wicker Park, Vasquez chimed in on Twitter.

They were shooting a music video. The fact that there were 150 people there, 25 guns confiscated, 4 people arrested and NO ONE shot or hurt shows that it wasn’t as violent as CWB is making it out to be. But some people want a reason to justify their bias.

In fact, our story made no reference to any violence whatsoever. That’s because there was no violence, only 25 guns. Of course, had someone been shot, Vasquez would apparently have chalked it all up to a “certain lifestyle” — at least until we called him out on it.

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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