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Windows of Girls' Day Camp for Refugees Hit by Bullets in Rogers Park

 No one inside a building was hurt when the Madonna Mission's windows were shot Tuesday night.
Sheridan Road Shooting
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ROGERS PARK — The windows of Madonna Mission, which hosts a Rogers Park summer day camp that helps girls who have fled violent conflicts around the world, were hit by bullets Tuesday night when a 20-year-old man was shot four times on the sidewalk outside.

No one was inside the nonprofit organization's storefront at 7110 N. Sheridan Rd. when the gunshots erupted about 8 p.m. Tuesday, piercing two windows.

Marie Jochum, the nonprofit's executive director, told her young campers about the incident Wednesday.

"The girls were really scared," said Jochum, 31.

Many of the girls she works with come from countries mired in violent conflicts, she added.

Jochum found out about the shooting when she came to unlock the doors Wednesday morning. She immediately called the organization's founder, Lynn Gordon, and told her, jokingly, that "it looked like someone shot up our window."

Then she called police and found out someone really did shoot up the storefront.

"I didn't think that could happen," she said.

Gordon said she founded the organization two years ago and the area had always been safe.

"It's disappointing," the 53-year-old said. "We really want to help the people in this neighborhood."

Rogers Park Police District Cmdr. Thomas Waldera said his officers arrested a juvenile carrying a handgun on Morse Avenue shortly after the shooting, but couldn't confirm that it was the shooter.

Charges had not been pressed, he said.

"It goes with the gang conflict there," he said, "something we’re trying to get a handle on."

The 20-year-old victim, who police say has gang affiliations, survived his wounds. He was walking down the street when two people approached. He was hit once in his right shoulder, once in his left thigh and twice in his right thigh, police said.

He was listed in "stable condition" at Saint Francis Hospital Wednesday.

Waldera said the shooting was the first in his district since Blake Lamb, 22, was shot and killed July 14 at Willye B. White Park. That happened about a week after Elliot Frazier, the son of Ald. Joe Moore's longtime aide, was shot and killed nearby.

In early May, the window of the Common Cup coffee shop at 1501 W. Morse Ave. was hit with a bullet during a daytime drive-by shooting.

Gordon and Jochum said they would need to replace both windows that had been hit at Madonna Mission.

"I'm just devastated that this would happen to such a great place," said day camp coordinator Elizabeth Burke, 25.