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Rogers Park Mourns Loss Of Beloved Teacher — But Vows To Stay Strong

By Linze Rice | October 14, 2017 2:15pm | Updated on October 16, 2017 8:35am
 Teacher Cynthia Trevillion, 64, was shot and killed in one of two shootings in Rogers Park Friday night.
Teacher Cynthia Trevillion, 64, was shot and killed in one of two shootings in Rogers Park Friday night.
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DNAinfo/Linze Rice; Waldorf School

ROGERS PARK — In the shocking aftermath of a Friday night shooting that left a 64-year-old Rogers Park resident and teacher dead, residents of the neighborhood are joining together to mourn the loss — and celebrate the life — of their slain friend. 

Cynthia Trevillion, of the 6800 block of North Greenview Avenue, and her husband found themselves unwittingly caught in the crosshairs of a drive-by shooting around 6:30 p.m. Friday night while walking in front of Rogers Park Social bar in the 6900 block of North Glenwood Avenue, according to police and witnesses. 

Ald. Joe Moore (49th) told residents in an email Saturday morning that just prior to the shooting, police told him there were two minors talking to someone in a stopped car at the corner of Glenwood and Morse when a dark SUV drove by and opened fire on the boys.

Both vehicles and the two juveniles talking fled, but Trevillion was not so lucky. She was struck in her head by a bullet and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Just 30 minutes before Trevillion's death, a 15-year-old boy was also shot in the 7100 block of North Ridge Avenue, police said. Police originally said the boy was 13 and shot in the 2100 block of West Touhy Avenue.

Moore said police told him the shootings were unrelated.

Moore said police canvassed the scene for the shooters, as well as witnesses, and are currently examining security footage in the hopes of gaining more insight into what happened. 

What police do know: Trevillion, a middle school math teacher at Chicago Waldorf School, was not the intended victim. 

"Any victim of gun violence is a tragedy, but it is especially tragic and intolerable for an innocent victim to be gunned down on a busy street in the early evening," Moore said in his message. 

In addition to being a teacher, Trevillion was also active with the Glenwood Sunday Market, which said it "lost a member of our family last night."

"Cynthia Trevillion was a dear friend, a stalwart supporter, a volunteer and Council member," the group wrote on Facebook. "The world was a better place for having her in it and she will be deeply missed. Our hearts go out to her husband, John, and all who loved her." 

"Cynthia, we hope they have butter and bone broth wherever you are."

Her coworkers, along with the owners of Rogers Park Social, are holding a memorial in her honor at 8 p.m. Saturday at the 6920 N. Glenwood Ave. bar. 

The neighborhood watering hole described Trevillion as a "beloved educator, friend and passionate community member."

"She was gunned down in an act of senseless violence in front of a beloved Rogers Park institution that valued people who enriched its community," event organizers wrote. "We call on you to join us in honoring her memory and raising funds for her family at that very institution [Rogers Park Social] to eat tacos, have some drinks, celebrate her memory and support her family in this difficult time."

The school has also set up an online donation page seeking $15,000 to help Trevillion's husband with funeral expenses and other costs. As of Saturday afternoon, about $6,800 had been raised. 

Trevillion had worked at the school for the last 14 years, according to her cohorts.

"To be sure, Cynthia had dedicated her life to providing our children with the best education possible," her coworkers wrote.

Other community members have also planned a peace vigil at 6 p.m. at Tobey Prinz Beach Park meant as a "simple gathering to respond to violence and fear with peace and love."

Attendees are encouraged to bring a candle or light, as well as a reading or poem, if they wish.

The Friday night shooting brings the neighborhood's gunshot victim total up to 16 — with five people shot since Sept. 12.

Moore acknowledged that "since late this summer, our neighborhood has experienced an uptick in gun violence," and said additional gang crime teams have now been called to patrol the Morse and Ridge/Touhy areas in the wake of the recent shootings.

Part of that work will include figuring out what to do with "an increase of youths loitering" at Morse and Glenwood, he said. The alderman and police have been working "diligently within the confines of the Constitution to discourage it," Moore said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said five people had been killed in Rogers Park since Sept. 12. Five people have been shot since Sept. 12, two of whom have died.