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Omar Estrada Tamayo, who had attended Evanston Township High School earlier this year, was shot while sitting on a park bench with two girls in Touhy Park in the 7300 block of North Paulina in Rogers Park on May 19. He died the next morning at St. Francis Hospital of complications resulting from the shooting. He was 18.

Chicago Police Officer Phillip Armstrong told the RoundTable that a figure dressed in dark clothing was observed shooting into the park, but no one has come forward with additional information. He added that Area 3 Detectives said three different gangs are vying for control of the park, and Omar might have been shot because he was sitting on a park bench that was viewed as off-limits, or he might have been mistaken for someone else, or he might have been hit by a bullet intended for someone else.

At the time of the shooting, Chicago police reportedly said that Omar had no criminal record and no gang affiliations.

Evanston Township High School gave notice to parents and students on May 20, and arranged for the schools entire counseling staff to be available to offer assistance and support to any student or staff member who might need it. In a letter to parents, Superintendent Eric Witherspoon said, “Our sympathy, concern and prayers are with the family.”

Tom Guenther, Public Information Officer of the Evanston Police Department, told the RoundTable that Evanston police are cooperating in the investigation, but that it is the Chicago Police Department’s investigation.

Officer Armstrong told the RoundTable on June 6 that anyone with information about the shooting should come forward and provide it to Chicago Area 3 Detectives.

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...