ROGERS PARK — Suspected gang members on social media used photos of a memorial erected by friends and family of Markeyo Carr, who was shot and killed by a masked gunman on Feb. 5, as a "trophy" to brag about the killing, a police official said.
"In this particular case, we removed [the memorial] the day after," said Rogers Park Police District Cmdr. Thomas Waldera at a community meeting Thursday. "What we saw on Facebook was that other gangs were using the memorial as almost a trophy."
The candles, flowers, photographs and well-wishes were left on a snowbank at the scene of the slaying, just outside a McDonald's at 6740 N. Clark St. in Rogers Park.
Waldera said the online attacks — referred to as "net banging," a phenomenon that includes the taunting of rival gangs in YouTube videos — are becoming more common among the city's younger generations.
Police said they believe one of the teens shot Feb. 5, an Uptown rapper known for his provocative music videos, was targeted in the attack that left 17-year-old Carr dead and three others wounded.
"That dude has like pissed off every gang there is through his videos," Waldera said of the rapper, including two gangs in Uptown and another in Edgewater. "And we heard his own gang ain't too fond of him."
Even though the rapper may have been the catalyst for the violence, the shooter remains elusive, Waldera said.
"Even at this late date," he said, "I can't tell you who did it."
'ALL SHOOK UP'
Residents at the community meeting expressed concern about the brazen McDonald's shooting and a "rash" of other violent crime in the neighborhood, including a sexual assault of a 24-year-old woman, who was attacked while doing laundry in the basement of her building last month.
Waldera said detectives investigating the crime were waiting on results of DNA testing, adding that the assault should never have happened in the first place.
"The offender entered through an unlocked wrought-iron gate, which should have been locked," Waldera said, criticizing the building's safety. "He then entered the vestibule of the building through an unlocked door — that should have been locked — then he entered through a laundry room door — that should have been locked."
Patrick Kenny, a CAPS beat facilitator in the area, said the "murder and the rape really knocked people off their feet."
Usually, he said, residents complain about graffiti, loud neighbors and other "quality-of-life" issues in Rogers Park.
The "two big violent things got people all shook up because we're not really used to that up here," he said.
Resident Rebecca Weinberg said the violence has made her nervous as a parent, especially as warmer weather approaches.
"But I think these times remind me of how vigilant we have to be as a community, how alert we need to be," she said. "As cold as this winter is, I'm expecting a very rough spring and summer."
Other people, like 60-year-old Gene Rehmert, said they were fed up with the status quo.
"We've had a rash of these kinds of violent acts recently, but incidents of shots fired and shootings have been happening once a month ... since May," said Rehmert, who has lived in the community for more than 20 years. "And it just doesn't seem like it's all a coincidence."
He said he feared "good people" would flee the neighborhood because of the violence.
"We're doing the same things ... over and over again and getting the same results — that doesn't make any sense," he said. "We need to start doing some things differently."
Waldera said he understood the concern and the complaints.
"Clearly, it's frustrating," he said. "I look at it as a setback when something like that happens. But to say there's no progress is absolutely inaccurate. But one thing like this feels like a setback."