CHICAGO — Antonio Johnson, an 18-year-old from Evanston, has died after being shot in his head Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The shooting occurred at 4:15 p.m. in the 7400 block of North Ridge Boulevard, two blocks south of the Evanston border, said Officer Thomas Sweeney, a police spokesman.
Johnson was taken to St. Francis Hospital in critical condition but was pronounced dead at the hospital, according to police.
From Fargo Avenue to Howard Street, Ridge Boulevard was blocked off by yellow and red tape as a light rain misted the neighborhood.
Orange markers sat next to found shell casings along Ridge and adjacent Birchwood Avenue, which had a blocked off alley guarded by police.
Officers and investigators were seen walking into another alley near Birchwood, carrying assault rifles and searching for evidence.
Just down the block is UNO Rogers Park, an elementary and high school at 7416 N. Ridge Blvd. where public schools administrator Evan Gutierrez sends his young son to school, he said from his home near the crime scene late Wednesday. Up the block, toward Howard Street, his 20-month-old daughter goes to daycare.
Wednesday afternoon, Gutierrez said his wife had to step over shell casings as she picked up their baby.
An area in the 2100 block of West Birchwood Avenue was roped off and guarded by police, who were seen searching the alleyways on both sides of Birchwood. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Across the street from Gutierrez lives resident Miguel Delgado, who has lived along Ridge Avenue for 30 years. He said around 4:10 p.m. he was in his bedroom smoking a cigarette when he heard 14 shots ring out, about half a second apart from one another.
"Then I hear, 'Hands up — Chicago Police!'" Delgado said.
He said he saw what looked like a young man lying in the street near a white Toyota Camry, wearing a puffy black winter jacket and gray hoodie. Across the street was a bicycle he said the victim might have been riding.
Sun-Times reporter Ashlee Rezin Tweeted that the shooting happened near her home. She said she heard multiple gunshots while talking on the phone and later saw shell casings in the street.
I heard more than 10 gunshots, talking on the phone with my dad: "Dad, I gotta go!"— Ashlee Rezin (@Ashlee_Rezin) March 23, 2016
Shell casings in the exact spot where I would've walked my dog. pic.twitter.com/XL4u1MEtXa— Ashlee Rezin (@Ashlee_Rezin) March 23, 2016
Delgado said as a longtime resident, he's seen his fair share of shootings — something he considers an act of "terrorism" in the neighborhood.
He said he worries for his life and the kids in his community every day, and even simple acts like going to the gas station can cause him anxiety.
"I think it's terrorism," Delgado said. "We should stop worrying about problems overseas and take care of what's going on here first before we go try to help somebody else."
Gutierrez, who moved to the neighborhood two years ago from Los Angeles, said he and his wife were "warned" not to move into the area, but figured they could handle it because they'd had experience living in "rough areas" before.
But in the last two years, Gutierrez said he's been shocked by the number of shootings.
This week alone, he said he's heard gunshots at least three times near his block.
"People warned us this probably wasn't the best part of Rogers Park to be buying in," Gutierrez said. "We feel stupid for having bought here, honestly. It's a terrible shame."
Shell casings were found in an alley near Birchwood and along Ridge Boulevard. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
A shooting left an 18-year-old man dead Wednesday in the 7400 block of North Ridge Boulevard. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
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