The Evanston Police Department on Thursday said Wednesday night’s fatal shooting at Clark Street Beach began as an argument between two small groups that escalated into gunfire.

According to a police news release and EPD tweets, officers responded to reports of shots fired at Clark Street Beach, in the 1800 block of Sheridan Road, around 8:10 pm Wednesday and located three male gunshot victims when they arrived.

Evanston police cars block the running path Thursday morning in Centennial Park near Clark Street Beach. Credit: Richard Cahan

Jacquis Irby, an 18-year old Skokie resident, was killed in the shooting, while two boys, both 15, were injured, according to police. The juveniles were not named in the release.

The news release said an investigation by detectives from EPD and the North Regional Violent Crimes Task Force found there was “a verbal altercation” between two small groups of people who seemed to know each other outside the entry to Clark Street Beach around sunset Wednesday.

“The altercation escalated with at least one offender firing a handgun into the group containing the victims,” the EPD release said. “The offenders immediately fled to a vehicle and left the area.”

The release stated, “The investigation indicates this was not a random act and the participants in the altercation knew each other.”

One of the two wounded teens, a resident of Skokie, remains hospitalized in critical condition, the news release said.

There appear to be at least two suspects, who fled north in a vehicle, EPD Cmdr. Ryan Glew said.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew is interviewed Wednesday night about the Clark Street Beach shooting. Credit: Alex Harrison

Northwestern University issued an order to shelter in place Wednesday evening, while EPD did not. The police department said it did not issue such an order because responding officers determined the shooting was not a random act and not an active shooter incident. The victims were not associated with Northwestern University.

As of Thursday evening, no arrests have been made and the offenders have not been located as police continue their investigation.

The police department said it will be deploying additional resources at Evanston beaches through the weekend.

“I’m saddened, frustrated, appalled that this sort of thing continues to happen,” Fourth Ward Council Member Jonathan Nieuwsma said of the incident.

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Manan Bhavnani

Prior to joining the RoundTable, Manan Bhavnani covered business and technology for the International Business Times, with a focus on mergers, earnings and governance. He is a double Medill graduate, with...

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  1. A friend and I were strolling the lakefront between Clark and Greenwood beaches last week. We saw multiple groups of teens un-escorted by adults.

  2. We have to talk about the gangs. Why are all articles on this subject totally ignoring the gang aspect of these shootings. This was at least the 3rd shooting attempt targeted at jacquis Irby. Previous attempts left an innocent girl paralyzed and another one left a girl in a car shot. I know the family and was shocked to see even as his mom was running and serving on the D65 school board his public Facebook was full of gang imagery. He had at least 2 prior gun charges. Also hate the fact that the Evanston police and every article keeps acting like they are all Skokie kids. They were evanston through and through until police and Peter Braithwaite asked them to relocate after one of the attempted shootings last year for the family’s protection. We have a gang problem here and need to address it

  3. What at one time would have been perhaps a fist fight is now one dead and four injured. The difference? Someone had a gun. According to the NRA, they should have all been armed. Then they could all be dead, and maybe a few bystanders as well. But guns make you safer! Right?
    Most guns in homes that kill someone are used in suicides, usually of a family member. But still people buy guns and leave them where a child or a depressed teen can find them.
    The 2nd amendment says not one word about self protection, it talks about forming a militia because there was no standing army when the constitution was written and first amended. There needs to be a new amendment that features the “well regulated” part of what the founding fathers wrote, when guns were slow, hard to load, and not very accurate. I doubt any of them would say “AK 47s should be sold to anyone with a pulse!” The NRA just washes the blood off their hands after every mass shooting with a large donation to their favorite politician.
    The American people want change, but we’ll only get it if we vote out those who are OK with the carnage.

    1. 100% with you Nancy. And the origin of 2A is much worse than what we were taught:
      “…the Second Amendment emerged really fully out of a concern about Black people, out of a fear of Black people. And so, this is what the role of the militia was. And so, yes, we hear the thing about domestic tyranny. They really weren’t good at that. We heard this thing about being able to — the militia being able to fend off a foreign invasion. They really weren’t good at that. But what they were good at was putting down slave revolts. And so, when you’re having the debates about the Second Amendment, you’re having the battles over the ratification of the Constitution, the Second Amendment was the bribe to the South to not scuttle the Constitution of the United States, in order to have control of that militia to keep the enslaved in check.
      And so, this stream that comes through is — what we’re consistently seeing is — and I think about Charlie Kirk, who said last week that, you know, unfortunately, there are going to be gun deaths, but that’s the price you have to pay in order to have the Second Amendment. And so, what it’s saying is, because of the inherent, fundamental fear of Black people in this nation, we are willing to be unsafe in our schools, in our churches, in our grocery stores, in our amusement parks, on our streets, in our parking lots. We are willing to be unsafe in order to be able to have the access to weaponry, where we can’t even think through it in terms of what is logical.” – Dr. Carol Anderson, Emory