(Tribune) Six men were shot early Sunday in multiple bursts of gun violence within 20 minutes near the Cabrini rowhouses on the Near North Side.
The first shooting erupted around 1 a.m. in Stanton Park. A large group was fighting outside in the 600 block of West Scott Street when someone opened fire and struck three men: a 49-year-old in the torso, a 22-year-old in the chest and a 37-year-old in the lower back, according to Chicago police. They were all taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where the first two were in critical condition and the third was stabilized.
About the same time, a bullet pierced a 41-year-old man’s shoulder while he was a few blocks south in the 1100 block of North Cambridge, police said. He was taken to Northwestern in critical condition.
Then about 1:20 a.m., two more men were shot less than a mile south of Stanton Park. They were on the sidewalk in the 800 block of North Cambridge Avenue when bullets hit both 34-year-olds. One was shot in the left forearm and the other in the left thigh. Both were stabilized at Northwestern, police said.
A Chicago police spokeswoman said there was no information yet on whether the shootings were related. The 41-year-old was initially believed to have been part of the group fired upon at the park, but is now considered a victim of a separate shooting.
No one has been arrested. All six men have had prior run-ins with law enforcement, a source said.
Willie J.R. Fleming, a former Cabrini-Green resident and a director with the Coalition to Protect Public Housing, left a concert early Sunday morning to return to his old home after getting a call about the men shot there. The 46-year-old said one of them was his relative.
“It’s sickening,” Fleming said. “I’m hurting. People want us to protest the city, protest the police all the time. But when our children, our mothers, our sisters, our aunts can’t walk down the street, who protests then?”
Hours after the second shooting, police remained camped out on Chicago Avenue and Cambridge, standing in the shadow of the newer luxury high-rises near the former Chicago Housing Authority complex known as Cabrini-Green. A bright red blood spatter remained on the crosswalk at Chicago, spurring a gasp from Fleming.
The activist spoke with the two officers guarding the red tape at the second shooting scene, reminding them of the shootings on the Near North Side this month. Among his examples was the first weekend of June, when four people were shot in a single attack in the Gold Coast neighborhood that Saturday and two men were found shot to death in a car in Old Town that Sunday.
“I’m fighting for this neighborhood like no other,” Fleming said. “We got to get more people involved and start talking about this violence. That’s what we got to do.”
Fleming sarcastically added that Chicagoans “literally need Blackwater security,” referring to the private military company, to stay safe. “No disrespect,” he said, looking at the officers nearby. “That’s what the city has come to. As an activist, to say that, that’s sad.”
Before Fleming left to go to Northwestern’s emergency room, he chatted with other residents visiting the crime scene. “We’re tired of the shooting,” said one woman. Another woman came up and, for a few seconds, sang a church hymn for the victims.
“We need prayer,” Fleming said to them.
Article Org: chicagotribune.com