Chicago police are investigating another shooting in the West Loop this morning. It’s the area’s second shooting in three weeks, part of a crime problem the local alderman has linked to viaduct campsites and tent cities.
Today’s shooting occurred under the Clinton L station in the 500 block of West Lake around 2 a.m., leaving a 39-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his thigh. At least ten evidence markers were placed next to shell casings at the scene.
Police said the victim was outside when the gunman walked up, began yelling, opened fire, and then left the area on foot.
CPD surveillance camera operator told cops in the area that they found video showing a man shooting down Lake Street. They described him as a White or Hispanic man wearing a blue jacket with gray sleeves. His hair appeared to be in a bun, the officer radioed.
Back on October 22, another shooting unfolded just a couple of blocks away, at the corner of Desplaines and Fulton.
A 23-year-old man told police he was walking down the street when the gunman pulled up on a Divvy bike. The offender stopped, pulled out a gun, and fired a shot, hitting the victim in the head. The victim, who remained conscious and alert, survived. Police initially suspected the shooting may have been a robbery attempt.
Local Ald. Bill Conway (34th) emailed his constituents about the October shooting.
“Since I took office, my team and I have been in close communication with police leadership about safety around the nearby viaducts,” Ald. Bill Conway wrote. “The increase in crime is unacceptable, and I’ll keep pushing for more resources from CPD & the Mayor’s office. Significantly more to come on this.”
While most Chicago aldermen are quick to say they’ll take action after a shooting, Conway is apparently following through.
Five days after the shooting, Conway had an update.
“This week, my team was able to remove several tents from under the Fulton viaduct that were abandoned & a locus of significant criminal activity,” he said in an email and on Twitter. “In total, we have removed 11 tents & 20 propane tanks. These presented a danger to the community & the rail line that runs above.”
Conway said he would “continue to accelerate our efforts” with city agencies, “including finding shelter for those living under the viaducts who will accept this support.”
Yesterday afternoon, Conway had another update: He said five more propane tanks had been recovered, and he thanked city employees for “helping us remove tanks, drugs, & abandoned tents safely.”
Divvy has also been brought in to recover abandoned bikes in the area, which Conway said may have been used to distribute narcotics in the area.