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Old Town Shooting Injures Two Men in Crowd Watching Women Fight

By  Paul Biasco and Emily Morris | June 27, 2013 11:02am | Updated on June 27, 2013 4:29pm

 Police respond to a call at Evergreen and Hudson Avenues near where the shooting took place.
Police respond to a call at Evergreen and Hudson Avenues near where the shooting took place.
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DNAinfo/Paul Biasco

OLD TOWN — Two men were hit when at least one gunman opened fire in broad daylight in Old Town early Wednesday evening, according to police.

Witnesses said they heard between 25 and 30 rounds fired in rapid succession about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday on the 400 block of West Evergreen Avenue.

A 29-year-old man was shot in the right shoulder and a 20-year-old man who was shot in his forearm. They were treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and released, said Officer John Mirabelli, a police spokesman.

The original altercation in the street was between two women who were fighting near the intersection of Evergreen and Hudson Avenues, but the fight quickly spread to involve some bystanders, according to witnesses.

Clara Smith, whose second floor apartment is located about 40 feet from the crime scene, said she was reading a book when she heard the shots ring out.

"That's how I knew they weren't firecrackers. They were rapid shots. Rapid rapid fire," she said. "None of them know how to shoot."

The gunshots sent the crowd that had gathered during the fight scrambling for cover.

"They were running and screaming, that's all I could see from the window," Smith said. "The women were screaming, some of them jumped behind the fence."

One of the injured men told police he was watching a fight between other people when he heard shots and realized he'd been hit, Mirabelli said.

The other man is not cooperating with police,  according to Mirabelli.

The streets were unusually quiet throughout Wednesday night and into Thursday as multiple marked and unmarked squad cars cruised the area of Sedgwick Street and Evergreen Avenue in a small pocket of Old Town known to locals as "Sedville."

Police were seen arresting a man who appeared to be in his late teens or early 20s on a bicycle near the area of the shooting Thursday afternoon, but would not comment on the arrest.

As of Thursday afternoon, police said no charges had been filed in the case.

The shooting was the first flareup of gun violence in the neighborhood since 31-year-old Tyshawn Blanton was shot dead on the sidewalk in front of a convenience store on January 8.

The pocket of Old Town where the shooting occurred is the same area that was analyzed in a DNAinfo Chicago Special Report published in mid-April on gang violence and the possibility of Manierre Elementary closing.

The corner store where Sedville teens hung out has since moved about a block and a half north on Sedgwick to escape the area plagued by drugs and violence, according to an employee.