A man’s body was found at Fitzsimmons Park at about 5:48 a.m. this morning, Sept. 14, by a man walking his dog, said Commander Tom Guenther, public information officer of the Evanston Police Department. The park, located at Elmwood Avenue and Lee Street, is adjacent to Nichols Middle School.
When police arrived on the scene, they saw what appeared to be an explosive device next to the body, and they called in the Cook County Bomb Squad. The bomb squad detonated a bomb on the site, said the Commander. He said police do not yet know what type of bomb it was.
The bomb squad went door to door in the area to make sure residents were secure and they evacuated a portion of the area. The bomb squad locked down the area and was still searching the area at 10 a.m. on the possibility there could be a second explosive device.
Commander Guenther said police will begin their investigation once the bomb squad determines the area is safe.
While the incident occurred near Nichols school, the Commander said it occurred at a city park, and police have not determined there is any connection to the school. He said police have been working closely with School District 65 administrators. District 65 issued an announcement before school opened that Nichols would be closed today, Sept. 14.
Police received a call from an area resident at about 3:56 a.m. that the resident heard an explosion, but the resident did not give an exact location. Police went to the area, but did not see the body in Fitzsimmons Park at that time.
At about 10 a.m., Commander Guenther declined to comment on the condition of the body or any other details of the incident because police had not yet had an opportunity to investigate.