By Jean Lotus
River Forest officers said an alleged gang shooting altercation in Stone Park, early on the morning of April 7, led to two vehicles chasing each other eastbound on North Avenue. Police said one driver lost control, causing his vehicle to leave the roadway and hit several trees and poles around 4 a.m. in the 7500 block on North Avenue.
According to reports, police at the accident scene found the damaged vehicle empty but learned four occupants had fled the vehicle. One man, an 18-year-old from Stone Park found injured nearby, was transported to the hospital because his injuries, according to a press release from River Forest Deputy Chief James O'Shea.
Officers reportedly recovered a loaded handgun and spent shell casings from another weapon in the damaged vehicle.
Investigation revealed that the incident stemmed from a gang-related disturbance in Stone Park in which several shots were exchanged by rival gang members, according to the River Forest police. The two rival groups then chased each other eastbound down North Avenue until the accident occurred. The second car and its occupants were not located by police.
The driver of the damaged car, a 19-year-old from Berkeley, turned himself in to River Forest police several hours later. The injured man and driver were both charged with unlawful use of a weapon and no valid FOID card. The driver was additionally charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident, plus various traffic offenses.
River Forest police said the Stone Park Police Dept. was independently investigating the earlier gang conflict in their jurisdiction and additional charges might be filed.