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Driver Shot in Wicker Park After Trying to Hit Officers, Police Say

By  Josh McGhee and Alisa Hauser | June 11, 2014 6:33am | Updated on June 11, 2014 9:33am

 A reckless driver was shot by police late Tuesday in the 1500 block of North Hoyne Street.
Wicker Park Reckless Driver Shot by Police
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CHICAGO — A driver was shot by police after he struck several cars in Wicker Park and accelerated toward responding officers Tuesday night, police said.

Around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call about a traffic accident in which a man struck several parked cars in the 1500 block of North Hoyne Avenue, police said. Officers pulled the car over, but when they walked up to it, the man reversed the car, striking a sign and several mailboxes, police said.

The man then accelerated toward the officers, who opened fire, striking the man, police said. The man was taken to an area hospital in an unknown condition, police said.

No officers were hurt in the incident, and detectives are investigating.

Nick Sommers, a resident of the 1500 block of North Hoyne Avenue was removing crime scene tape from a fence in front of his home about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"The gunshots reminded me of the '70s when we moved in. I knew it was gunshots, not firecrackers," said Sommers, who lives near the site of the incident.

Sommers said his wife heard police say, "get your hands up" before the man was shot in the leg.

The SUV was traveling on North Avenue near Hoyne Avenue, when it knocked down a CTA bus stop pole and a newspaper box, police said.

Glass fragments were on the ground next to a damaged fire hydrant Wednesday morning on the southwest corner of Hoyne and North.

Though the shooting was closer to Hoyne and North avenues, Sommers said police put tape over the sidewalk to keep gawkers away Tuesday night.

Sommers said the black SUV the man had been driving had just been towed away earlier Wednesday morning. He said there were bullet holes in the SUV's doors and windows.

Anna Young, 24, said she had returned home from the airport Tuesday when the incident happened, and the quick reaction from police helped her feel at ease.

"I've lived in the area for years, and nothing like this ever happens," said Young, who lives on the block and went to investigate with other neighbors Tuesday after the commotion.

"When I walked down there to see what was going on, about 16 cop cars were there," she said. "Living in Chicago, things like this happen. If I didn't want to be exposed to things like this, I'd live in a bubble."

Amy Pilewski, 41, also said the police response put her at ease as she watched the scene unfold from her front window.

"We heard five or six shots, yelling, and more cops were there in 30 seconds," she said. 

"We didn't come out to see because we didn't know what was going on. We love the neighborhood though; it's totally safe. I don't feel any different [after the incident]. The cops were very responsive and on the scene in seconds," she said.

Israel Martinez, 45, said he had just returned home from work at U.S. Cellular Field after Tuesday's game was canceled when the incident awoke him just before midnight.

The neighborhood has grown increasingly unsafe with the addition of several BYOB restaurants and nightclubs in the area, he said.

"They're breaking all kinds of laws out there. They let this kind of stuff happen," Martinez said. "They're out at these little nightclubs and BYOB restaurants drinking all night like there's no DUIs, and you expect the neighborhood to be safe?"

"This is not a war zone, but this is the first time in four years that something like this has happened," he said.

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