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Shooting in Leone Park Sunday Wounds 2, Scares Neighbors

By  Alex Nitkin Mark Schipper and Linze Rice | August 31, 2015 7:45am | Updated on August 31, 2015 10:08am

 Two men are in serious condition after being shot in Leone Park Sunday night.
Two men are in serious condition after being shot in Leone Park Sunday night.
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Paul Makris

ROGERS PARK — Police said two gang members were shot and wounded in Leone Park on Touhy Sunday night, a shooting the president of the Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce said he heard.

Chamber President Bill Morton said he was in his Sheridan Road office, next to the park, at 8 p.m. Sunday and could hear at least five gunshots in succession.

"Neighbors at adjacent buildings were frightened and greatly disturbed by this act of violence," said Morton, adding that a man and child were in the park when gunfire erupted.

"We need some action to prevent this from happening again and make our park and beach safe for us all. Public safety should always come first."

Witnesses say there was a child in the park when shots rang out:

He said police immediately showed up on the scene, and soon were knocking on his office door, asking Morton if he'd seen a suspect escaping through a gangway between the park and office — though Morton said he'd not been able to tell.

The wounded men, 21 and 19, said they were standing in the park in the 1200 block of West Touhy Avenue around 8 p.m. when they heard gunshots and felt pain, according to Officer Jose Estrada, a Chicago Police spokesman.

The 19-year-old was taken to St. Francis Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition with gunshot wounds in his right arm and abdomen, Estrada said.

The 21-year-old was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital in serious condition with a wound in his right leg, Estrada said.

Police said both men are gang members.

Morton said nearby residents had heard shootings in the Leone Park area several times before and had discussed them during community meetings.

In May, a 22-year-old man was shot during a drive-by in the 1300 block of West Greenleaf, just down the block from Sunday's shooting.

In videos posted by Morton on social media, neighbors can be heard reacting to the shooting, with one saying she was just about to take a walk on the beach "60 seconds" before shots were fired. 

No one is in custody, Estrada said.

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