On Sept. 8, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Evanston police officers responded to a 9-1-1 call of a person shot in the 1000 block of Dodge Avenue. Upon arrival, officers located a 23-year old Evanston man with one gunshot wound to the upper right arm. The young man was transported by Evanston Fire Department paramedics to Evanston North Shore University Hospital where he was listed in good condition, said Perry Polinski of the Evanston Police Department.

Witnesses described seeing two black men in their late teens to early 20’s running from the scene, said Mr. Polinski.

At a Second Ward meeting on Sept. 8, Police Chief Richard Eddington provided additional information. The Chief said he believed the victim was shot in the basement of a home in the 1000 block of Dodge Avenue. Police located “drug paraphernalia” in the basement, but the Chief added “there wasn’t a great deal of it.” After the victim was shot, police believe he left the home, and then returned to the home and called 9-1-1. The home is owned by victim’s father, said the Chief.

The victim was able to say that he was shot with a Beretta pistol, but said he could not identify who shot him. When he was being loaded into the ambulance, he made comments to the effect that he would not cooperate, said the Chief.

The victim subsequently reiterated he would not cooperate and that he did not want anything further done in the matter. Once a victim says he is not going to testify or cooperate, a prosecution “is highly unlikely,” said the Chief.

The Chief added that police would continue to investigate the shooting to gather information about people’s having access to guns, about possible gang activity, and about “whether this was an accidental self-inflicted wound.”

When asked, the Chief said the victim was on parole for burglary, but said that was “not germane to this event.” He added, “This address was not on our radar. There were no prior arrests at this location.”

When police were in the building, they saw “structural concerns” and notified the City’s property standards division, said the Chief. “Our call to the building inspectors opens up a huge panalopy of other issues that we frankly will use to maintain the attention of the homeowner to lessen the probability of this event or similar events happening in the future.”

He said the hard work of Ald. Braithwaite and others in creating the Nuisance Premises Ordinance has “more oomph” that will bring pressure.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, said, “I’ll be following up on that.”

Touching on Other Violence

One person attending the meeting asked whether there was an uptick in violence in the City. The Chief responded, “We had a relatively good summer except for the last 10 days,” in which “We’ve had a cluster of high profile crimes” – alluding to the armed robbery in an ATM vestibule, the sexual assault, and two carjackings.

He said, “A number of Chicago gangs have the feeling that stealing stuff in the suburbs is easier than stealing stuff in the City.”

He encouraged people in the community to lock their cars. If someone with a gun is attempting to rob you, he said nothing you own is worth getting shot over. Finally, he said, “If you see something that doesn’t look right, call us” or text the information using the anonymous text-a-tip. “That is a huge deterrent.”

The Chief added that police had some “several good leads” in the carjackings that took place on Aug. 25 and 26. He said they found a cell phone in one of the cars and obtained a search warrant to access the phone. Also one of the carjackers left personal wearing apparel in one of the cars that will be useful, he said. 

Ald. Braithwaite emphasized, “We want to keep the Second Ward as safe as possible.” He encouraged people to “Stay vigilant. Pay attention and use your common sense. If you see something that doesn’t look right and makes you feel uncomfortable, call and the police will sort it out.

“Everyone leaving here should have the attitude it’s not going to happen in my block,” said Ald. Braithwaite.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Evanston Police Department at (847) 866-5000 or by using Text-A-Tip at CRIMES (274637) and entering EPDTIP in the message line with the tip information.

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...