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Shooting of Teen Was 'Street Justice' After Car Break-In, Commander Says

By Alisa Hauser | February 7, 2017 2:30pm | Updated on February 7, 2017 2:51pm
 Near West Police District Cmdr. Ed Kulbida meets with residents at a community meeting.
Near West Police District Cmdr. Ed Kulbida meets with residents at a community meeting.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

WEST TOWN — The shooting of a 17-year-old on Sunday might have been "street justice" for his attempts to break into a car, a police official said.

Speaking at a meeting of residents Tuesday evening, Near West Police District Cmdr. Ed Kulbida said the shooting near Racine Avenue and Huron Street came about 5:35 p.m., after the teen and someone else were seen breaking into a car. They were followed, and the teen was shot in his leg, Kulbida said.

"These people in the neighborhood, they didn't like that," said Kulbida of the break-in, adding of the pair, "I don't think they'll do that again."

On Monday, some in a crowd of more than 250 residents in the basement of the Goldblatt's Bros. Building, 1625 W. Chicago Ave., laughed at the explanation while others appeared uneasy.

After the gathering, Meaghan Thomas, a Humboldt Park resident, said she was "uncomfortable" with the implication that vigilante or street justice is acceptable.

"A lot of people were laughing and agreeing, and a lot of other people were not," said Thomas, who is part of a Parents for Peace & Justice grassroots group.

The police report the shots were fired from the back seat of a dark-colored car. The teen took himself to Stroger Hospital.

Originally, police said the shooting occurred in the 600 block of North Racine Avenue. On Tuesday, Officer Kevin Quaid, a police spokesman, said an amended report put the shooting in the 1200 block of West Huron Street.

There have been no arrests in the incident, and it is still under investigation, Quaid said.

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