ShotSpotter led Chicago cops to mass shooting that left 10 injured, 8-year-old girl dead

Chicago Police Deputy Chief Don Jerome, center, briefs the media after a mass shooting near 52nd and Damen on April 13, 2024. (Facebook)

CHICAGO — ShotSpotter technology helped Chicago police pinpoint the location of a horrific shooting that injured 10 people and killed a young girl in the New City neighborhood on Saturday evening. Police were on the scene before dispatchers mentioned any 911 calls about the crime.

“5200 South Damen. It’s going to be 18 rounds on the 52nd Street side,” said a Chicago cop in the Deering (9th) District intelligence center, which monitors ShotSpotter activity in the area. 

The first officers on the scene found the first victim on 52nd Street, just west of Damen, with an ambulance at the scene. The officers find another victim, and then even more. Eric Tendian, the operator of CrimeIsDown.com, shared audio of the 9th District police radio traffic, starting with the ShotSpotter alert:

In a media statement issued overnight, Chicago police confirmed that the victims were found by officers responding to a ShotSpotter alert in the 2000 block of West 52nd Street. A witness told police that someone in a black sedan fired shots at a crowd of people, then sped south on Damen.

An 8-year-old girl was killed. Other victims, according to CPD’s latest update:

  • a 1-year-old boy in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen
  • an 8-year-old boy in critical condition with two gunshot wounds to the abdomen
  • a 9-year-old boy in good condition with a graze wound to his left pinky finger
  • a 19-year-old woman in good condition with a gunshot wound to her left leg
  • a 26-year-old woman in good condition with a gunshot wound to the thigh
  • a 30-year-old woman in good condition with a gunshot wound to her left forearm
  • a 36-year-old woman in good condition with a gunshot wound to her back
  • a 36-year-old man in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds
  • a 38-year-old man in good condition with a gunshot wound to his left heel
  • a 40-year-old woman in good condition with a gunshot wound to the leg

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson announced earlier this year that the city would end its partnership with the gunfire detection company this autumn, going against the advice of CPD Supt. Larry Snelling and many aldermen whose wards are monitored by ShotSpotter.

ShotSpotter results

On April 2, police responded to a ShotSpotter in the 3200 block of South Claremont. As they headed to the scene, a 911 caller described a man who ran from the scene and got into a car, the officers later wrote in a report.

They said they found Marshon Ross, 25, matching the description. Ross allegedly told the officers that someone was shooting at him.

But prosecutors said in a detention petition that Ross fired shots at a home, striking the building, while a family was inside. No injuries were reported.

When officers asked Ross to step out of the car, they saw a handgun on the floor of the vehicle, prosecutors said. According to Ross’ arrest report, the pistol had an illegal switch that turned it into a machine gun.

He is charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm into an occupied building, unlawful use of a machine gun, and failure to register as a gun offender. Judge Barbara Dawkins detained him as a safety threat.

In another case, Chicago police responded to a ShotSpotter alert of two shots fired at an address in the 2500 block of West 45th Street late on March 17. A 911 caller later reported that someone fired shots from a black car in a parking lot at the address given by ShotSpotter, according to a CPD document.

Cops found Omar Naraez, 35, sitting in a black vehicle in the parking lot with “multiple” open containers of White Claw mango, according to his arrest report. As officers removed Naraez from his car, two shell casings and a live bullet fell from his person, the report said.

The officers allegedly found five more casings inside his vehicle, an ammunition magazine in the center console, and a handgun on the floorboard.

Naraez, who has a license to own firearms but not a concealed carry license, told officers that he had been drinking and fired his gun into the air twice, officers said in his arrest report.

He’s charged with reckless discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon. Judge Ankur Srivastava released him on electronic monitoring.

Previous reporting

This story is part of an ongoing series of reports documenting arrests and investigations that involve the use of ShotSpotter gunfire detectors in Chicago. Mayor Brandon Johnson has committed to ending the city’s contract with the technology’s owner, SoundThinking, this autumn.

Our team reads hundreds of Chicago police reports every week. We can say with certainty that ShotSpotter alerts routinely result in the arrests of armed men—and they’re almost always men—after shots are fired in the city. This series includes cases we happened to come across during our work. It is not an exhaustive list of every ShotSpotter case.

Original reporting you’ll see nowhere else, paid for by our readers. Click here to support our work.

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