Woman fatally shot, two men injured at unlicensed club in Jefferson Park; Alderman Gardiner, police officials to hold community meeting on Fri., Dec. 10, to discuss recent gun violence
by BRIAN NADIG
Three people, including a 19-year-old woman who died from a gunshot wound to her chest, were shot at about 4:35 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, near the rear entrance of a reported unlicensed club at 4804 N. Central Ave. in Jefferson Park.
Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th) will hold a community meeting to discuss the recent gun violence at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, in the gym at Saint Constance School, 5856 W. Ainslie St. Police Superintendent David Brown and Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan are among the expected guests, Gardiner said.
In the Dec. 5 incident, officers reported that the woman was unresponsive while they attempted to provide her aid and that she died in the parking lot outside the building, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) District police. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office has identified her as Meagan M. Bilbo, of the 6100 block of West Cornelia Avenue.
In addition, a 22-year-old man told officers that he and his girlfriend were leaving through a rear entrance of the building when he heard gunshots and saw that he had been shot and self-transported himself to Community First Hospital, police said. He suffered gunshot wounds to his leg and stomach and was later transferred in critical condition to Illinois Masonic Hospital, police said.
Another man told police that he was shot while using the bathroom near the rear entrance of the building and that he took himself to Swedish Covenant Hospital, police said. The 23-year-old man, who suffered gunshot wounds to both legs and stomach, was later transferred to Evanston Hospital and was in critical condition, police said.
Multiple shell casings were found in the area, including one inside the building and another inside a book bag belonging to one of those who were shot, police said. Some witnesses who were outside the building refused to identify themselves, police said.
Gardiner said that the city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and police have told him that the business has been shut down and will remain closed pending further investigation. For weeks the storefront, whose previous occupant was a computer store, has had plastic inside its windows so that no one can see inside.
“We want this thoroughly investigated (and) make sure any more illegal social clubs like this are closed. We’ve seen what type of crowd this can attract to our community,” Gardiner said.
Around 2010 the city closed an illegal club at Lawrence and Milwaukee avenues following an incident in which a drug dealer was shot shortly after leaving the club. In that instance the club had operated for months, but it was shut down immediately after the shooting.
In the Dec. 5 incident, witnesses told officers that parties has been held inside the storefront and that some people may still be inside, according to police. Officers then made forced entry into the building but found no one inside, police said.
Also early on Sunday, there were reports of gunfire in the 5900 block of West Lawrence Avenue, where at least one business reportedly was damaged, but it is not clear if those gunshots were related to the shootings near Lawrence and Central avenues.
Also on Sunday at about 2:40 a.m., a 43-year-old man reportedly was shot three times in the upper back and suffered graze wounds to the head and shoulder while he was driving at an undetermined location in the Portage Park area, police said.
He reportedly drove himself to Community First Hospital but was later transferred in critical condition to Illinois Masonic Hospital, police said.
The man told police that someone in another vehicle shot at his car several times while he was driving home from Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, where he had won $500, police said.
Also, at about 1 a.m. Sunday Nov. 28, they were reports of gunshots in the 5500 block of West Belmont Avenue, where a 31-year-old man was shot in his leg and a storefront window was shot out by five bullets, police said.
At least one parked car also was damaged by gunfire, police said.
Officers reported finding multiple shell casings in the area and spots of blood on the street and sidewalk, police said. A business was hosting a birthday party at the time, and guests reportedly took cover and fled during the incident, police said.