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Shooting Near Bernardin Childhood Center Could Be Gang Payback

By  Ted Cox and Ariel Cheung | January 26, 2017 2:49pm 

 Two people were wounded in citywide shootings early Wednesday. File photo.
Two people were wounded in citywide shootings early Wednesday. File photo.
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DNAinfo/Erica Demarest

LINCOLN PARK — Police are investigating gunfire near the Cardinal Bernardin Early Childhood Center in Lincoln Park that reportedly injured one man Tuesday evening.

According to Crime in Wrigleyville + Boystown, a 25-year-old man was shot at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday outside the Catholic Montessori school at 1651 W. Diversey Parkway.

Police reported they were called to the scene just after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and "upon arrival no offenders were on scene." They did file a criminal damage to property report after an employee of the school discovered what appeared to be gunshot marks to a concrete retaining wall of the school.

A 25-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg shortly after that at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, 836 W. Wellington Ave. According to the Chicago Police News Affairs office, "it probably is the same incident," but it would be left to investigators to confirm that.

The school was for the most part empty when the shots rang out, Principal Michelle Mirecki said Thursday.

“We’re very lucky that there just a few people left in the building,” she said. “Our teachers knew what to do, so I feel like, in a situation that could have been something really horrendous, it was handled greatly.”

Police got to the scene quickly, Mirecki said, and both the community policing officer and Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) have reached out to the school since the shooting.

“We’re in good hands,” she said. Still, gunfire near the school was something she “never expected.”

Reports were that it might have been related to an early Monday morning shooting the day before on the 2000 block of W. Diversey in which police sources said the 24-year-old male victim was "a documented gang member."

Police said Thursday, however, that "at this time it is unknown" if Tuesday's shooting was gang-related.