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Alderman Who Witnessed Rogers Park Slaying: 'Something I Will Never Forget'

By Alex Parker | July 13, 2014 2:44pm | Updated on July 13, 2014 6:35pm
 William Lewis, 28, was shot to death Saturday near Devon and Glenwood avenues in Rogers Park.
William Lewis, 28, was shot to death Saturday near Devon and Glenwood avenues in Rogers Park.
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Craig Gernhardt

CHICAGO — Among the witnesses of a fatal shooting in Rogers Park Saturday afternoon was Ald. Joe Moore (49th), who recounted the grim scene Sunday in an email to constituents.

"I happened to be on Devon only a block from the shooting and heard the gunfire. I looked up to see the assailant, who appeared to be a teenager, continue to fire his weapon at a group of fleeing youths," he said. "It is something I will never forget."

The shooting, which took place about 3:20 p.m. in the 1300 block of West Devon Avenue, killed William Lewis, 28, of the 4700 block of North Hermitage Avenue.

Police said Lewis was standing on the street when someone approached him, produced a weapon and began firing.

Lewis was wounded in the back and taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead at 3:58 p.m. Police said the shooting may have been gang-related; the Tribune reported that police said Lewis was not the intended target. Friends of the victim said he was a photographer who stayed out of trouble.

Police are questioned "several individuals" regarding the shooting on the Edgewater-Rogers Park border Saturday afternoon, said Ald. Harry Osterman (48th). Moore said several witnesses gave police "important" information about the shooting.

On Monday, 31-year-old Eric Vaughn was charged in the slaying.

Moore said he and his wife later drove past the scene of the shooting, and noticed bloodstains on the sidewalk.

"We went to a nearby store to purchase some water, bleach and a brush to clean the sidewalk," he said. "By the time we returned, Milton, a resident of the building adjacent to the sidewalk, had already undertaken the grim task. We helped him finish the job."

He said the shooting stemmed from a gang dispute in another neighborhood. 

"But the fact the violence may not have been homegrown, doesn't make this shooting any less a concern for us in Rogers Park," Moore said, calling for "sensible" nationwide gun laws and solutions to end poverty.

Osterman said more gang crime teams have been dispatched to his North Side ward since Saturday's homicide and another shooting Thursday evening in Uptown, in which no one was injured.

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