WICKER PARK — A 19-year-old man was fatally shot in his head early Saturday along a popular entertainment strip in Wicker Park.
The man was killed about 2:20 a.m. Saturday, said Officer John Mirabelli, a police spokesman. Cops in the area heard shots fired and found the teen unresponsive in the 1500 block of North Milwaukee Avenue.
The teen, later identified as Miguel Delgado, of the 2500 block of North Kildare Avenue, was pronounced dead on the scene at 2:30 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Police took three male suspects into custody Saturday, Mirabelli said. One was later charged with first-degree murder.
A police source on Saturday said the shooting was gang-related — but not a retaliation for the slaying of Emmanuel "Face" Bass, a gang member shot to death last week.
A bouncer in a Milwaukee Avenue bar, who declined to give his name, said he "heard five shots and knew they weren't firecrackers." The man saw Delgado lying on Milwaukee Avenue and overheard one of the shooters say he "got" someone.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy on Monday said the fatal shooting is a good example of why Illinois needs tougher gun laws.
“Possession of a loaded firearm is the gateway crime to committing a murder," McCarthy said at a news conference in the Chicago Lawn police station, 3420 W. 63rd St.
"Look what happened in Wicker Park the other night: Friday night, there’s a fight in a bar. It spills out into the street — a guy gets a gun and kills someone."
Reactions from locals were mixed Saturday morning.
Paul Dickman, 54, has lived in Wicker Park for 30 years.
"This is the city," he said. "I've lived here since when this sort of stuff happened every week."
One resident, who didn't want to be named, called for more community involvement and police outreach.
"Gunfire in the neighborhood, it's always kind of scary — stray bullets and all that," said the man, who has lived in Wicker Park for eight years. "It's up to residents to take responsibility to make this better."
Amado Mava, 26, a Gage Park resident who was shopping in Wicker Park, noticed crime scene tape and shards of broken glass scattered along Milwaukee Avenue.
"We thought someone just broke the window," Mava said when he learned about the fatal shooting — which shattered a front window at G-Star Raw, 1525 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The shooting "sucks, but it's not going to change my view of Wicker Park," said Mava, who noted that shootings and gang violence are much more prevalent in his native Gage Park.
"This is a really safe place," said Maxim George, a 20-year-old Logan Square resident who was visiting a friend. The shooting "doesn't really phase me. It's jarring, I guess."
"It's life in the city," said Kevin, 42, who declined to give his last name. "Every now and again, they [criminals] do whatever they want to do wherever they want to do it."
Saturday's murder is the second slaying in a week in the North Side neighborhood. Bass, 35, died after being shot last Friday night in an incident that wounded another man. Police said the shooting was gang-related.
Bass's killing angered neighborhood residents, who said they are seeing more violence linked to drinking, drugs and gangs.
Two other people were injured by gunfire Friday night.