NEAR WEST SIDE — In 16 blocks on the city's Near West Side, eight people have been shot in the last month alone.
The eight people were injured in six shootings that have occurred since April 20 in an area bound by Western Avenue, Washington Boulevard, Damen Avenue and Jackson Boulevard. Five of those shootings occurred in a span of less than 10 days, according to Chicago Police data.
That's an "extreme" number of shootings for the area, Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) said Monday.
"The one thing that I take from that is there's a gang war going on," he said.
According to records, the shootings occurred:
• At 3:30 p.m. April 20 in the 2400 block of West Jackson Boulevard, injuring a man in the arm
• At 2:18 p.m. May 11 in the 2100 block of West Jackson Boulevard, injuring a 27-year-old woman in her arm and hip and 44-year-old man in his hip
• At 9 p.m. May 14 in the 2100 block of West Warren Boulevard, injuring a 15-year-old boy in his chest, leg and arm and 18-year-old man in his hip
• At 2:35 a.m. May 17 in the 2100 block of West Adams Street, seriously injuring a 35-year-old man in his chest
• At 6:57 p.m. Wednesday at Golden Fish & Chicken, 2356 W. Jackson Blvd., where two men leaned out of a passing red SUV and opened fire on four children and an adult, injuring a 12-year-old boy in his leg. The incident was captured on surveillance video.
• At 2:40 a.m. Friday in the 2300 block of West Madison Street, where a 36-year-old man was seriously injured when he was shot in the chest at an ATM
In 16 blocks on the city's Near West Side, eight people have been shot in the last month alone. [dnainfo/Tanveer Ali]
From April 20-May 20, 2015 in the same 16-block area, one person was shot. From April 20-May 20, 2014 in the same 16-block area, no shootings were recorded.
Three of the shootings occurred after a massive brawl May 16 near Golden Fish & Chicken at Jackson Boulevard and Western Avenue that was captured in a Facebook video and has been shared more than 2,100 times.
The fight might have started after a cellphone was stolen from someone at nearby Touhy-Herbert Park, Burnett said.
Aside from the six reported shootings, neighbors sid the 16-block area has been plagued by other recent violence.
At about 1:33 a.m. Monday, neighbors reported 20-30 shots fired at Hoyne Avenue and Adams Street near Touhy-Herbert Park. No one was injured in the incident that occurred just two nights after police held an outdoor roll call at Jackson and Western, Chicago Police spokesman Frank Giancamilli said.
Chicago Police will continue to conduct increased patrols in the area to address concerns of residents, Giancamilli said.
But neighbors fear that the rise in shootings could foreshadow a tragic bloody summer in the area, said one neighbor who asked that his name not be used, fearing retaliation.
"Once it gets hot out, things could get really bad," he said.
Last summer, a group of neighbors living near Touhy-Herbert Park, about two blocks from the intersection, said they were in a never-ending "turf war" with a group of gangbangers who party in the park at all hours of the night.
Adam Foods & Liquors, 205 S. Western Ave. [DNAinfo/Chloe Riley]
Closing liquor store, chicken shop?
Burnett, who lives on the Near West Side and whose office is close to the site of the recent shootings, said he is now working to close Adam Foods & Liquors, 205 S. Western Ave., and Golden Fish & Chicken, 229 S. Western Ave., the site of the May 18 drive-by shooting that injured the 12-year-old boy.
The businesses might be putting the surrounding neighborhood in jeopardy, the alderman said.
"It's unfortunate that in some of our neighborhoods, there are certain things we can't have," he said Monday.
An owner of Golden Fish & Chicken, who declined to be named, also own a chicken and fish restaurant on 63rd Street in Chicago Lawn. Despite the violence, the owner said the business is running smoothly and that its customers do not seem to be the violent individuals.
Instead, the owners said they think their business is at an unfortunate location at the center of a gang turf war.
"You're in the middle of the gangs," said the co-owner. "This is the reality."
In 2013, the city and then-Ald. Bob Fioretti moved to close the liquor store on Western, but were ultimately unsuccessful.
In November 2012, three people were shot in front of the store, and in March 2013 a man was stabbed to death.
If successful in closing the businesses, Burnett said the site could become home to new Chicago Housing Authority offices or be utilized by a private developer.
"I'm talking to folks to see if they can buy those two stores and [install a new use] that is less attractive to that type of violence," Burnett said.
In the meantime, Burnett said he is in constant communication with Near West District Police Cmdr. Ed Kulbida.
"We're trying to work every angle," Burnett said. "We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure we don't have a bad summer."
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