The driver of a car that crashed into a house in the 900 block of Florence Avenue on Oct. 7 has retracted her statement about the incident and the people involved. Police Chief Richard Eddington told the RoundTable that, shortly after the crash, the woman told police officers at the scene of the accident that she had lost control of the car because two people had followed her and her companion in another car and had shot at them.

She also said that “shots fired at the vehicle caused the crash,” said Chief Eddington. Civilian witnesses also said they heard gunshots and saw the muzzle flash, he added.

The woman and her male companion “had been involved in shooting events in the 500 block of Sherman Avenue and other incidents over the summer,” said Chief Eddington.

“She named several individuals known to us, who we know to be in conflict with the occupants of [that] car,” Chief Eddington said. Although she remained at the scene, her companion fled the scene after the crash, “and we haven’t found him,” Chief Eddington added.

When the driver was brought back to the police station, Chief Eddington said, “She signed a waiver and said, ‘I was mistaken, and I don’t want to prosecute.’” He added that his impression “is that the first version of the events is the most correct. You’re in fear for your life and then you say, ‘Oh, never mind,’?”

The Oct. 7 incident is part of a “long-running, gang-related conflict,” said Chief Eddington. He said police officers are working on putting together “other cases related to this gang activity.

“We’re aware of the conflict, but we don’t have cooperating witnesses. Somebody’s got to say something … Their conduct was so outrageous, but nobody’s going to be called to account [so] it’s just going to happen again,” Chief Eddington said.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...