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Stray Bullet Flies Through Window On 56th Floor Of Downtown Tower

 A stray bullet flew through a Streeterville high-rise window Monday morning, scaring a visiting family.
Stray Bullet in Streeterville
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STREETERVILLE — A former Chicagoan's summer vacation in the city took a scary turn over the Fourth of July weekend when a stray bullet flew through a 56th-floor window in his parents' Streeterville condo.

Neel Sukhatme, a former Chicagoan who now teaches law at Georgetown University, was working at a desk in his parents' high-rise home at 474 N. Lake Shore Drive when he heard glass shatter early Monday morning.

Sukhatme thought the crash could've been caused by errant fireworks launched for the Fourth of July, but then he saw a bullet hole in his parents' living room window, and his wife found a bullet nearby.

Sukhatme's 2- and 1-year-old children were asleep in a bedroom when the stray bullet flew into the condo. The young family had spent their day earlier visiting Navy Pier and other sights of the city — but they cut their Chicago vacation short and flew back to Washington the day after finding the bullet.

"There was glass in my hair," Sukhatme said. "You don't expect [stray gunfire] to happen in a high-rise in Streeterville, but maybe that help gets the proper attention this problem needs."

He added: "This kind of stuff shouldn't be happening."

Police arrived at 12:50 a.m. Monday and confirmed at the scene that a bullet had crashed through the condo window, Sukhatme said. No injuries were reported, and the type of gun used or why the shot was fired still is unknown, said Officer Nicole Trainor, a Chicago Police Department spokeswoman.

The stray round was part of a violent holiday weekend in Chicago, where 15 people were killed and 84 were wounded from Friday evening through Tuesday, police said.

The weekend violence followed a rash of recent shootings Downtown, including a fatal one on Father's Day near Ohio Street Beach that led the local alderman to close a nearby underpass connecting to the lakefront overnight. Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), whose ward includes the scene of the stray bullet on Lake Shore Drive, declined to comment Wednesday morning.

"It's kind of a shame to hear what's happening in terms of increasing shootings and violence" in Chicago, Sukhatme said. "Hopefully, this is a trend that is a temporary blip, and it's not a long-term trend back in the wrong direction."

Sukhatme said he discussed the shooting publicly because "I wanted to make sure it got the proper attention it deserves."

ABC7 first reported the stray bullet Tuesday night.

[Photos courtesy of Neel Sukhatme]


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