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7 Shootings Reported Within 2 Blocks of Uptown Intersection Since 2014

By Josh McGhee | March 15, 2016 6:20am
 Police tape remains on a stop sign across the street from where a 17-year-old was shot Friday in Uptown.
Police tape remains on a stop sign across the street from where a 17-year-old was shot Friday in Uptown.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

UPTOWN — Friday's shooting in Uptown marked the seventh shooting within two blocks of the intersection of Magnolia Street and Wilson Avenue since 2014, according to statistics gathered by DNAinfo Chicago.

At 2:08 p.m. Friday, a 17-year-old was shot in his leg in the 4600 block of North Magnolia Street. The teen was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where his exact condition was not released but he was listed as stable, said Officer Janel Sedevic, a Chicago Police spokeswoman.

The teen was from Rogers Park and the shooting was "gang-related," Ald. James Cappleman (46th) tweeted afterward, warning there would be an increased police presence in the area. Cappleman did not give further details of the shooting.

Cappleman on Monday had no update on Friday's shooting and refused to comment on violence in the area.

On social media, neighbors reported hearing as many as nine shots as young men scrambled from the intersection of Leland Avenue and Magnolia Street. Good Samaritans could be seen helping the teen and his distraught friend, neighbors said.

Photos show blood on the sidewalk in front of a bright green fence near the corner. Monday, soccer goals could be seen in the front yard of the apartment complex along with construction cones on the corners, where sidewalks are being repaired.

Jessie, a 40-year-old neighbor who refused to give his last name, said the area has been quiet for the last few months, but saw violence creep from Wilson Avenue to the residential side streets all last summer.

"This past summer was pretty bad. By Starbucks there was a number of shootings that led from Wilson down to Beacon. I was pretty nervous because it was protruding this way. There was a guy shot riding his bike when my neighbors were sitting on the lawn. They said 'The guy just walked up and shot him in cold blood,'" he said.

Jessie moved from Edgewater to Uptown about a year ago. Last year was the first time he noticed violence ramp up in his neighborhood during the summer, he said.

"It wasn't until I moved here that I noticed violence escalate around the summer. The summer months seem to bring a lot of violence. Wilson seems to the main street, but it does tend to creep up" to the residential area, he said.

A 52-year-old neighbor, who refused to give his name, said the area has improved since he moved in about six years ago.

"You see the police a lot more, but they can only do so much," he said. Shootings "happen occasionally, but I don't go out late at night. It's been a lot better since they started firing up the Red Line and making it safer. It's a sad thing happening across the city of Chicago."

Since January 2014, three men have been killed and four men have been wounded in the area, leaving neighbors in fear for their own safety and that of children in the neighborhood.

The most recent shooting before Friday's was when 19-year-old Sam L. Johnson was killed taking out the trash two blocks south in the 4400 block of North Magnolia Street. Around 11:45 a.m. June 17, Johnson was in the alley across from Billy Broncho Playlot, 4437 N. Magnolia Ave., when someone in a dark-colored minivan opened fire, striking him in the left side of his body, Sedevic said.

Johnson's friend Daniel Simmons said Johnson would often shoot hoops at the basketball courts at Billy Broncho. He wasn't in a gang, but they had discussed how shootings often occur around the area, Simmons said. Police also confirmed Johnson was not in a gang.

At the time, neighbors said the park was a hotspot for gang activity and drug dealing going as far as to blame the basketball hoops for inviting unsavory characters to the area. The park is situated on the same lot as Courtenay's Child Parent Center, meaning the lot is intended for young children, neighbors argued.

To curb violence around the area, Cappleman had ordered the removal of the hoops during his first term.

Around 9:05 p.m. on May 16,, a 28-year-old man was critically wounded in the 900 block of West Wilson Avenue after a man reportedly fired nine shots. Around 6:35 p.m. on April 12, a 30-year-old man was shot in his leg after a man got out of a silver car and opened fire, police said.

In June, Demarcus Adams, 27, was fatally shot in his back and leg in the 1300 block of West Leland Avenue. Around 5:05 p.m. on Feb. 21, Adams was about two blocks away from his home in the 4400 block of North Malden Avenue when he was fatally shot, police said.

In July 2014, Kezon Lamb, 20, of the south suburbs, was fatally shot in his back in the 4400 block of North Malden Avenue. Around 12:20 a.m. July 6, 2014, Lamb was sitting in his car when a man approached and shot him in his back. He was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where he died about an hour later, police said.

At 7:17 a.m. May 8, 2014, a man was shot on a porch in the 4600 block of North Racine Avenue.

An interactive map of shootings in Uptown:

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