Shots fired in River North overnight, police supervisor terminates pursuit of suspects

A crowd gathers on the corner of Clark and Hubbard streets after shots were fired nearby on June 24, 2024. (Citizen)

CHICAGO — Police briefly pursued a vehicle occupied by two gunmen after shots were fired in River North overnight. A CPD supervisor ordered officers to terminate efforts to stop the suspects’ vehicle.

The shots were fired in the 100 block of West Hubbard, between Clark and LaSalle, around 1:53 a.m. A bullet struck a storefront window, but there were no reported injuries. Police found ten shell casings on Hubbard Street.

Witnesses reported that they saw a man with a rifle traveling through the area in a gray Hyundai Santa Fe around the time of the shooting. Surveillance video showed two men, both armed with guns, returning to a white Lincoln that sped from the scene.

Officers quickly spotted the Lincoln in the Loop and tried to pull it over as it hit the Dan Ryan Expressway. However, in keeping with the police department’s strict limitations on vehicle pursuits, a sergeant ordered an immediate termination of apprehension efforts.

The officers reported that they last saw the Lincoln traveling outbound on the Stevenson Expressway.

Chicago has paid out tens of millions of dollars for lives lost and injuries caused by pursuits that ended with crashes. The police department’s written policy explicitly states that no officer will ever be punished for not chasing a suspect. And CPD supervisors have become so skittish about the possibility of something going wrong that they’ve even ordered cops to stop pursuing a car suspected of carrying wanted murderers.

Of course, there’s a trade-off when the city discourages pursuits to save money and reduce the possibility of injury to third parties. That trade-off is that armed, violent people are not apprehended, and they continue to commit crimes.

Chicago police have relied on Illinois State Police troopers, whose pursuit policy is less restrictive than CPD’s, to help with vehicle chases. And ISP has been effective when their units are available.

Late last year, Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) announced that he wants Chicago cops to have the same vehicle pursuit parameters as state troopers.

“I’m working closely with some attorneys around drafting that language so that we can make sure that it fits within the parameters of the Illinois State Police. And again, if the Illinois State Police are doing this, there’s no reason why CPD can’t do this,” Villegas said, according to Block Club Chicago.

More than six months later, no changes to the pursuit policy have been announced.

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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