CHICAGO — Aldermen representing Lincoln Park and River North are taking action after last weekend’s high-profile shootings in their wards.
Timmy Knudsen (43rd) is rolling out parking restrictions for the street where five people were shot near Lincoln Park Zoo.
In River North, Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) wants the city to hold a nightclub “accountable” for a shooting in which dozens of shots were fired during an apparent ambush attack caught on video.
Around 4:40 a.m. last Saturday, five people were shot when a group of people that gathered to party and drink near Lincoln Park Zoo were shot during a fight in the 1900 block of North Stockton, officials have said. No arrests have been announced.
On Friday, Knudsen told his constituents in an email that his office and police “are pushing deterrents to this type of behavior.” The only “deterrent” he mentioned was a plan to restrict parking on Stockton Drive to residents only.
Knudsen’s proposed ordinance would limit parking in the 1700 through 1900 blocks of Stockton to residents bearing a zoned parking permit from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.
“In discussions with the police, this will give them a direct tool to stop the trend of people gathering on Stockton Drive late at night in a way that has led to criminal behavior,” Knudsen wrote. He did not say when the restrictions might take effect.
CWBChicago reported this week that no patrol car was assigned to the police beat where the shooting happened on Saturday morning, nor were beat cars active in adjoining beats. That’s a problem that must be addressed if the proposed parking restrictions are to be enforced.
Reilly pulled no punches in a series of letters and an email this week.
“Based on preliminary findings, the victim of the shooting was a patron of Blüm [nightclub], and the shooter(s) came downtown to seek him out,” Reilly wrote in a letter to neighbors.
A Chicago police detective at the scene of the daytime shooting in the 300 block of West Erie said “upwards of 50” shell casings were at the scene. While police initially believed that they arrested one of the shooters shortly after the crime, prosecutors did not accuse him of participating in the shooting.
Surveillance video first posted by CWBChicago showed four gunmen emerge from a parked car and open fire on the victim. The footage showed he tried to run away, but one of the gunmen chased him down Erie Street and shot him in the head.
The victim, 27, was seriously injured.
“The shooting … placed potentially dozens of lives at risk. I live just a few blocks away and know this happened at a time of day when many residents are out on the neighborhood streets. It is a miracle more people weren’t injured or killed,” Reilly wrote.
“I have asked the local police commander and liquor commissioner to investigate the nightclub Blum and, if witness reports are substantiated, initiate the license revocation process to shut them down,” he continued.
The alderman pointed out that there was a shooting outside the nightclub in 2021 when it operated as Clutch Bar.
“River North residents should not be forced to endure the deleterious impact that these problem liquor establishments are having on our community. Enough is enough,” Reilly fumed.
He said he asked the 18th District commander to increase police presence on Erie Street and at a nearby park where people have been gathering for nighttime parties. The 18th District extends north into Lincoln Park and includes part of Knudsen’s ward where the five people were shot.
Reilly also shared a letter he wrote to the Local Liquor Control Commissioner this week. In it, he “strongly” urged the commissioner to “immediately close” Blüm.