ROGERS PARK — The neighborhood's top cop Thursday night touted a 64 percent reduction in murders so far this year compared to 2012.
But in a case of bad timing, a 16-year-old boy was shot in both legs six blocks away at nearly the exact same time he praised the lack of gun violence — and a murder-free past few months — in the neighborhood.
"It could be worse. It has been a lot worse," said CAPS beat facilitator Toni Duncan at the meeting Thursday night, but "we have a long way to go."
The boy was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston to be treated, police said.
At the meeting, Rogers Park Police District Cmdr. Thomas Waldera said two of the four homicides this year were gang-related. On July 5, Elliot Frazier, the son of an alderman's aide, was shot and killed in the 7400 block of North Paulina Avenue.
Days later, on July 14, Blake Lamb, 22, was shot in his head in Willye B. White Park.
Since that daytime shooting, no one else has been murdered, Waldera said.
He said he "put things in place" to quell tempers in a raging gang conflict that "was spinning out of control."
Waldera said last month that police pressure on Howard Street pushed some of the gang activity to other areas of the neighborhood, but overall the tactic has worked.
"What changed it was Blake Lamb being sacrificed," said Duncan, who lives near the park where Lamb was killed.
In 2012, there were 11 homicides within the Rogers Park district, which includes West Ridge.
Waldera also said there have been 19 "shooting incidents" so far this year compared to 31 in all of 2012.