Gunshots reported in Sauganash, around NEIU campus; Alderman Nugent says more police will be on the streets in the 39th Ward
by BRIN NADIG and JASON MEREL
More officers will be on the streets in the 39th Ward this weekend after gun-related incidents were reported in the Sauganash and Peterson Park communities and on the Northeastern Illinois University campus, and a police surveillance camera is sought for the Peterson-Cicero intersection to help fight crime, according to Alderman Samantha Nugent.
“There have been multiple reports of shots fired throughout the 39th Ward this week. This surge in violence is unacceptable. I have requested additional officers and resources from Chicago Police Superintendent Brown and Mayor Lightfoot.
“Effective immediately, there will be an increased police presence in the 39th Ward,” Nugent said in an e-mail which she sent out to ward residents.
Nugent explained that additional officers from the 17th (Albany Park) Police District and specialized units are being assigned to the ward. She said that police suspect some of the recent activity could be gang-related but that all of the incidents remain under investigation.
It was previously announced that a county grant was being used to have police observation device cameras installed at the northeast corner of Bryn Mawr and Kedzie avenues and the southwest corner of Milwaukee and Elston avenues.
Nugent said today that she will be seeking additional funds to also have installed a camera at the Peterson-Cicero intersection and for all three cameras to have “license plate reader” technology to better assist in police investigations. She added that she hopes the cameras also will act as a deterrent, as some criminals may stay away from the area if they know the cameras are there.
The following gun-related incidents were reported this week in the 39 th Ward:
Shots were fired in the 5900 block of North Cicero Avenue at about 6:10 a.m. Wednesday, March 10, according to 17th (Albany Park) District police.
Several callers reported that two men got out of a black vehicle and fired approximately 12 shots, then fled south on Cicero, police said.
Officers recovered six spent shell casings at the Cicero-Peterson intersection, police said. The shooters were only described as White/Hispanic.
Shots also were reported fired at about 9:35 a.m. March 10 in the 3600 block of Bryn Mawr, according to police.
Officers on patrol near the NEIU campus heard several shots and saw a dark green Lexus sport utility vehicle chasing a dark-colored SUV eastbound on Bryn Mawr, then south at the NEIU campus access to North Central Park Avenue, according to police.
Officers saw a man stick his head and body out of the rear driver side window and fire two shots at the Lexus, police said. Officers attempted to stop the vehicles as they continued south on Central Park, when the Lexus made a U-turn and fled north on Central Park, then east on Bryn Mawr, north on a side street and then east in an unknown direction, police said.
The SUV fled south on Central Park to West Foster Avenue, in an unknown direction, police said. A witness reported that he saw a man fire six shots, then dump several items over the fence of the NEIU maintenance yard and flee east across campus, according to police. The items included several knotted plastic bags filled with a white rock-like substance suspected of being cocaine and one live gun round, police said.
The shooter was described as White, age 20 to 30, 5-5 to 5-11 and 150 to 220 pounds, with black hair and wearing a black puffy coat and black pants.
In addition, on Friday, March 12, police responded to reports of gunshots fired at the intersection of Kilbourn and Sauganash avenues, where shell casings were found, and in the 3900 block of West Glenlake Avenue.
An off-duty officer was involved in the Glenlake incident, according to Nugent’s e-mail. No injuries in that incident were reported.