WEST ENGLEWOOD — After a shooting near Henderson Elementary School Thursday, Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) said he needs to see additional resources to combat the "rampant gun violence" in the community.
The shooting happened near Henderson, 5650 N. Wolcott Ave., close to the end of the school day and the school was put on lockdown. Lopez said multiple shots were fired 20 feet in front of him on the 5600 block of South Damen Ave. around 2:15 p.m. while he was driving around the ward to check on abandoned buildings.
The shooter drove through the alley and opened fire through a vacant lot next to 5609 S. Damen Avenue, Lopez said.
He said police indicated that the shooting may have been in retaliation to a shooting earlier in the day on the 5600 block of South Seeley Avenue.
“I am again calling for a realignment of CPD resources to bring more assistance to areas like West Englewood which are impacted by high numbers of violent crimes,” Lopez said in a statement. "We cannot treat all crime in Chicago equally when communities like this one are in crisis. Deployment must be based on the severity and need of a local district."
The alderman has repreatedly requested additional police and other resources to stop gun violence in the 15th Ward. Earlier this year, he asked for and received backup support from the Cook County Sherriff’s office when CPD staffing levels were what he considered inadequate.
“We know that we cannot solve this emergency through increased policing alone," he said. "We need funding for our local schools, after school programs, and good jobs for our residents.”
Lopez said there is more crime in the area because the state budget crisis resulted in funding being cut for local social service agencies and programs.
“We also have innocent kids and families who risk death every day just by walking down the street or going to and from school," he said. "We need additional police resources right now to keep them safe and stem this rising tide of violence.”
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