BRIGHTON PARK — After a gang shooting injured a 16-year-old boy and put a 34-year-old man in the hospital Sunday, Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) says the neighborhood is facing a “public health emergency.”
“Summer should be a time for fun, picnics, sprinklers and swimming,” Lopez said in a statement. “But for much of our city’s South and Southwest Sides, this summer has been marked by two things: gun violence and neighbors grieving and marching for an end to the shootings.”
Taking a stand against gun violence that’s ravaged the South Side over the last year, the alderman is now focusing on shutting down problem buildings throughout the 15th Ward and calling for the Chicago Police Department to put more cops on the street.
The latest shooting happened around 3 a.m. Sunday in the 2400 block of West 45th Street, police said, where neighbors reported hearing more than 15 gunshots.
A 34-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to his chest and landed at Stroger Hospital in “critical” condition. A 16-year-old boy was shot in his back.
The teen would not cooperate with officers, police said.
Taking a stand against gun violence that’s ravaged the South Side over the last year, Lopez said he is working with authorities to bring down bad buildings in the neighborhood.
His office has so far identified 21 problem buildings in the 15th Ward.
“We are working with police commanders, the Building Department, and the courts in order to shut these buildings down,” Lopez said. “The building involved in Sunday’s shooting was one of those houses.”
Lopez’s office is now putting pressure on absentee landlords allowing gangbanger tenants to sign leases.
“Let’s make the 15th Ward an undesirable area for gangs to hang out,” Lopez said. “Let’s make them pick up and move out of here.”
Following the Orlando nightclub massacre and two shootings that involved semi-automatic guns, Lopez offered a resolution to the City Council asking state and federal leaders to support a ban on automatic and semi-automatic assault weapons.
Lopez wants Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to put more cops on the street and stop all Deering District officers from transferring to other parts of the city.
“I don’t want anyone trying to leave the 9th District when we have a job to do,” Lopez said in an interview with DNAinfo.
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