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Recent Uptown Shootings Involved High-Ranking Gang Members, Police Say

By Josh McGhee | August 5, 2015 9:10am
 Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) talked to neighbors about recent shootings in the neighborhood at National Night Out celebration Tuesday.
Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) talked to neighbors about recent shootings in the neighborhood at National Night Out celebration Tuesday.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

UPTOWN — A pair of shootings over the weekend in Uptown stemmed from a drug situation involving high-ranking gang members, officials said at Tuesday 's National Night Out festivities at Buttercup Park.

The event took the place of the monthly community policing meeting for several beats in the Town Hall and Foster police districts and invited neighbors to fight back against crime by hanging out in the community. The event came right on time for Uptown residents after a rash of crime in the area.

"It's about neighbors around Chicago, around the country coming together to make it safe. And in this part of our community — Buttercup Park, Argyle Street, Lawrence— that's kind of the ballgame and making it safe is all of our responsibility," Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said.

"It's a responsibility for the seniors, for the families, for the teachers, for the police, all of us together. We have to envision the diverse safe community that we want and we got to step up to make it happen," he said.

Monday, a cellphone store was robbed at gunpoint in the 4400 block of North Sheridan Road. Over the weekend, two people were shot on the same block.

From July 1-23 in neighboring Lakeview — the most recent dates for which statistics were available — there was nearly one robbery or burglary per day, totaling 11 robberies and nine burglaries, according to police data.

A total of 184 violent crimes and thefts were reported during those three weeks, including 11 aggravated assaults or batteries, 102 thefts and 14 thefts from vehicles.

Foster District Cmdr. Cornelia Lott told neighbors Tuesday night that the shooting at 4:20 a.m. Friday that left a man wounded and Saturday night's shooting of a 48-year-old woman were connected.

Two women drove Friday's victim to the hospital after he was shot while standing with them in the 5000 block of North Kenmore Avenue. One of those women was shot Saturday night on the same block. That woman is the highest ranking female member of the gang, she said.

Her son was one of 21 people arrested in "Operation Tangled Web," an investigation that involved wire-tapping and charged members of The Black P-Stones with $2.5 million in drug-trafficking, she said.

Lott had spoken to the man a week before he was shot. The area is closely monitored by police, but the shooting happened when officers were returning to the street after making an arrest, Lott said.

Osterman said this type of crime is not new to the area.

"We got work to do. Last week, we had a couple shootings on Kenmore. We've had violence in this neighborhood before," Osterman said.

"There's more of us who care about this community than there are of those who want to bring us down. And we've got to band together. We do it tonight. We do it all summer long but we got to do it all year. We do that a year from now we're going to be in a better place. And that's what you got to work for," Osterman said.

Lott reminded neighbors to call police immediately if they see if they see drug dealing around their neighborhood.

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