Second shooting near Oak Park apartment building has police on the alert

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Jean Lotus

Oak Park police said two men, brothers ages 36 and 37, were shot last night in the parking lot behind an apartment building in the 400 block of North Austin Boulevard – the same building where a man was shot through his apartment door around midnight March 27.

Police said the men were shot as they parked their vehicle in the lot behind the building around 9 p.m. Neither man suffered life-threatening wounds.

Police have not determined if the two crimes are related, said a statement from Oak Park Village Spokesman David Powers.

Police arrived on the scene Wednesday night and learned the victims had driven themselves to the emergency room at West Suburban hospital. They told police an unknown man approached on foot and began firing a handgun at them.

The assailant then ran from the parking lot and entered a red minivan driven by a second unknown man. The van quickly left the scene.

One victim, age 36 from Oak Park, was treated for a gunshot wound to his shoulder. The other, a 37-year-old former resident who gave Ottawa as his hometown, suffered a grazing wound to his head. They were treated and released.

In the March 27 incident, the 22-year-old victim, who has a history of weapons violations, was shot through his apartment door after he looked through the door's peephole and saw two men outside who demanded to come in and kicked the door. They discharged three shots through the door, police said, striking the man inside the apartment on the leg.

Powers said police are increasing patrols and working directly with the owner of the 22-unit building to reassure residents of the building who are not connected to the incidents.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Oak Park police at Anonymous tips can be made by calling 708-343-1636 or on the Oak Park Police website at

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Posted: April 7th, 2014 2:45 PM

current level of enforcement is too much, and the low income opportunities too little. Who do we please? Who's standard is most fair? and to whom?


Posted: April 7th, 2014 2:44 PM

Uncommon Sense, I don't think I'm overly discriminating. When you see that the vastly disproportionate amount of crimes are made up of a group that fit into a specific economic and racial category, you have to start asking the questions why? and who to prevent it? I agree with the increase initiatives you suggest, but there will also be people that will find them "overly discriminative". There are people who want more done, people who think things are fine, and people who think the cont...

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: April 7th, 2014 2:31 PM

Rez, you cannot overtly discriminate. However, I see nothing wrong with making Oak Park less attractive to thugs, vagrants, etc with no nonsense police presence and enforcement, limiting low income housing, and discouraging low rent businesses like bodegas, pawn shops, etc. I fear Oak Park could be on an accelerated decline if reality doesn't sink in. Communities don't fail over night. However, can look up one day and be Detroit.


Posted: April 7th, 2014 2:12 PM

But with all that information, do we then exclude low income? Which would lower crime. Do we welcome them in the current stage? Where crime stays the same. Or do we welcome them with large amounts of conditions and background checks on family members? Which could lessen crime, but create a feeling of exclusion and big brother around them? What are the problems Oak Parkers are willing to accept? Cause no one's going to have their cake and eat it.


Posted: April 7th, 2014 2:08 PM

So yes, there are exceptions, but it is easy to generalize because the context of the things that happen in Oak Park are consistent enough to make meaningful generalizations. I have nothing against middle class blacks, nor do i have anything against low income blacks that do not bring negativity... but as trends suggest, when you have a larger amount of low income blacks in Chicago, you will have more violence and crime. It's a social, cultural and economic problem.


Posted: April 7th, 2014 2:04 PM

Jack, I agree that the dope heads are the one's that deserve the accountability, not the well meaning grandmother... but I think that's more of an isolated example from the wider problem of violence within and around the village, which has more to do with African American's that are not "only" low income, but also adopt a Gangsta persona, which is predominantly a black issue in Chicago. Many that are seeking this identity get street cred for committing acts of violence, beyond any profits.

Jack from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2014 1:40 PM

In one of these building is a great grandmother on sec 8. she gives ALL the neighborhood kids rides to school, shares her extra LINK food with her neighbors, helps her elderly peers, but the dope heads below her reported her for being noisy while her grandchildren were visiting and now she is being evicted and the drugs stay. Do you see the problem?

Jack from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2014 12:51 PM

As a black man living in a home on Lyman and Harrison I can say most of you have it wrong. If you want to see a change, the companies (not owners) managing these buildings and the tenants need to be held accountable for their actions and the actions of their guests. Unfortunately these "People" are of all races and color and don't care about being part of the communittty as a whole.


Posted: April 7th, 2014 11:12 AM

Yes, it would be exclusionary.

OP Transplant  

Posted: April 7th, 2014 10:33 AM

The difficult question becomes, if we know that a disproportionate number of violent crimes are committed by people of a certain income level and race, is it exclusionary for Oak Parkers to not want to increase the number of residents from that group? Are we allowed to choose safety over increased racial and economic diversity? Or, are we compelled to go out of our way to bring people into our community when statistics tell us they are likely to make our community less safe?

U Bet  

Posted: April 7th, 2014 9:44 AM

Amen Sista. Criminals be gone. I'd say OP has been doing a great job considering the proximity to high crime blocks( yes blocks) away.

Jan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 7th, 2014 8:06 AM

Jim from South Oak Park makes the most sense to me. The Village has worked for years to make Oak Park open to all races, but no one ever said that criminals of any color were welcome. The gangsta culture is anathema to those who want peace and justice. Let's pursue bad behavior, no matter the race or class.

OP Transplant  

Posted: April 5th, 2014 6:30 PM

Jim- Doesn't change a thing I said. The most dangerous neighborhoods in the Chicago are predominantly black and low income. It has nothing to do with what you and I think, it's just true.

Jim from South Oak Park  

Posted: April 5th, 2014 6:22 PM

@OP Transplant. Think a little differently than just black vs. white. Does it makes sense to look at it as white and black middle class vs. black Ghetto Gangstas. OP has had a black middle class for a while. Making it black vs. white puts them on the "other" side in the conversation. Our problem is the black Ghetto Gangsta, a violent, aggressive, defiant person. I'm all for identifying them and getting them out of my life. If a dude does the pimp stroll, I don't want him around.

Village Voice  

Posted: April 5th, 2014 5:17 PM

Yeah Peg, 'cause gangbangers are so cautious and have perfect aim and NEVER shoot "incident" bystanders. If you feel so little concern, why don't you go ahead and change living spaces with one of the families living in this building where the violence is occuring?

Winter Skye from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: April 5th, 2014 11:16 AM

Peg, it's never "isolated" if an apt. building has thugs residing with relatives! And the people after them shoot thru doors! It boggles the mind how ostrich-like the sheltered are...


Posted: April 4th, 2014 7:56 PM

Peg, if a gun is used in a crime here, i'm concerned regardless of the reason.


Posted: April 4th, 2014 7:00 PM

The important fact to point out here is that it is an isolated incident which it could involve sketchy criminals on both sides. If it was random criminal activity involving incident people, then we as a community should be more concerned.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 6:43 PM

What do you base your statement on, Joe/South OP? Because a former River Forest police chief was top cop in New Haven, CT, and I followed his tenure there. The crime wasn't anywhere near predominately white. Same in Bridgeport. Have you gone there personally and checked this out? I doubt it. People wanting to check this out on their own can go to Just for starters.

OP Transplant  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 5:23 PM

Joe and Jim - Except that what you say simply isn't true. Crime statistics and demographic data are easy to find. Name a few of the predominantly white low-income neighborhoods that have rates of violent crime as high as the rates in the predominantly black low-income neighborhoods of Chicago. Or examine a list of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago, and look for the ones that are predominantly white.

joe from south oak park  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 4:34 PM

I think that jim hit it on the head there. If you go to some areas of in the southern part of boston mass or bridgeport CT, you'll find situations not too different than what we have next door in the austin neighborhood, only with a very white demographic. The only similarity would be the persistent poverty in these areas and ghetto/gangster culture. IMHO the persistent poverty is a result of the ghetto/gangster culture rather than a cause.

People r people  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 2:38 PM

Oak Park welcomes ALL people, including law abiding ones. :-)

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 2:21 PM

Nothing like the cold water of reality splashing in the face of Oak Park's progressives.

OP Transplant  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 2:03 PM

No matter whose data you look at, and there's no shortage of data, the Chicago neighborhoods with the highest rates of violent crime are predominately African-American and low income. Predominately Hispanic neighborhoods are safer. Predominately Asian neighborhoods are safer. This is easy data to track, so it makes for pretty objective numbers. How do you blame Oak Parkers of any race for not welcoming a group whose presence correlates to higher rates of violent crime?

Jim from South Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 1:51 PM

Let's stop talking "black" to link OP east side shootings, school discipline and the school-to-prison track. The real problem is a Ghetto Gangsta subculture. By Middle America's standards, it is violent, aggressive, combative, and defiant. Members get "cred" by force. It drives crime on Austin, It results in discipline in schools because it is disproportionately violent. And it sets up the school-to-prison track. We can't throw them all in jail, how can we get them out of our lives?

Black Poet  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 1:34 PM


Teresa Powell  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 12:48 PM

Rental rates are not regulated by Village ordinance but by what the market will bear...people may lower rates if they can't get renters at a particular amount.

Solution from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 12:35 PM

If all the landlords in that part of town colluded together and all agreed to raise their rents substantially, it would make a world of difference. Of course, that's probably against the law.

Winter Skye from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 12:31 PM

@Rez: And those who are complaining about all the awful "racist" comments likely (like...100% likely) are living in a house on a block without this as a remote issue. So they can down other people who happen to live in an apt. where this goes on. Micki, I am almost certain that you have lived in a house for decades because you seem very sheltered to make this statement. As I had earlier stated, the first shooting victim likely was NOT on the lease and therefore the landlord might not have known of his existence! So he wouldn't be subjected to a background check.


Posted: April 4th, 2014 12:23 PM

White guilt seems to plague Oak Parkers. The irony is, the many stand up, hard working black people I know completely acknowledge that larger amounts of low income blacks means you're going to get more trouble. White guilt seems to blind people from seeing reality for what it is. So, the people who are pushing for low income in this community have no right to complain about crime, because they are inviting it. No doubt there will be may whining about my statement, but at least it's true.


Posted: April 4th, 2014 12:14 PM

Micki, it's very simple. If we look at reality objectively, we will see that a larger amount or low income residents, plus living next to a poor area means you will have more crime. The low income residents may not have gang connections, but their family members may, especially if they or their families lived in a project or west south sides before. So, if you are all for providing low income, don't moan about the crime, because you know full well that it's a package deal.

Ebony from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 11:39 AM you truly believe that any of what Terry said is not true? If you do, you must be the most blissful person around.

Guns and Drugs  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 11:27 AM

The drug trade that people speak of that might be responsible for these shootings is hardly a low income situation. Quite the opposite--hence the shootings. Drugs bring in a lot of money. So glad our communities are making more guns available and drugs more accessible.

MichaelO from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 9:28 AM

WJ, you really should provide a description of the shooters. That is a responsibility you owe to the community.

Micki from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 9:11 AM

What saddens me about many of the comments here (especially "Terry from Oak Park") is that you are sliding race in to the conversation. Our community's history of discrimination is wrong. I am not suggesting that we happily open our doors to thugs and gang bangers -- background checks should solve that. I am however, disgusted by your comments connecting this thuggery and race as though we don't have a problem in our community.

Terry from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 7:19 AM

So tell me again why landlord's should rent to thugs like these? Why they should be forced to rent to someone just because they are black? To fill quota's? If I own a building, I should be able to rent to whomever I wish. And if someone looks like a thug, then I'm not going to rent to him/her. See what happens when this type of element permeates a neighborhood. We become just like the east side of Austin. Wait and see what happens at the old Comcast building. And it isn't even summer yet.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 1:21 AM

A graze wound to the head? All that means is the shooter missed his target by the slightest of margins. This was attempted murder. It's a whole different headline and story if the gunman is a better shot.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 10:04 PM

it will be interesting to see if these three offenses are counted as attempt murder or aggravated battery.

kathleen from River Forest  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 8:57 PM

River Forest isn't much better and we have had our share of crime . Oak Park and River Forest are becoming an island. We are surrounded by gang and drug activities. We border one of the highest crime districts in the city of Chicago and sandwich between with Maywood

Joe from River Forest  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 8:48 PM

Oak Park has become a sewer. High taxes for what? Chicago should just annex it.

Winter Skye from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 7:26 PM

I wonder if all the bleeding hearts crying about housing discrimination get it now. The victim in the first incident likely wasn't even on the lease, People bring their crap to innocent relatives and other tenants. It's nice to live on a block with $500K houses and no apts. nearby and tsk tsk about those "racist" building owners who won't let anyone in their buildings but if you are not in that situation then you have no place to talk.

Uncommon Sense  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 6:45 PM

A no guns sticker on the apartment building entrance would have prevented this from happening. I bet they dropped their FOID cards in the parking lot. They will be apprehended soon.


Posted: April 3rd, 2014 6:42 PM

The correct strategy is not just police and in counter intuitative but we need to engage. People with out hope, disinfranchised, etc turn to gangs etc. We can never hire enough police or buidl prisons to hold people without hope.

OP Transplant  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 6:29 PM

Joan - I grew up in and around low-income housing. The amount of violence I saw around me really was higher than the amount I've seen living in higher income communities as an adult. It's unfortunate, but it's a fair observation.

Joan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 6:19 PM

I know a lot of people who are poor and. / or have low income, and they don 't go around shooting people. Why do people blame or equate violence with low income? There are poor people all over the world who are non - violent. People need to behave responsibly, regardless of their income.


Posted: April 3rd, 2014 6:09 PM

just for record Austin has replaced Englewood as most dangerous part of Chicago. It is in part due to effective policing (uncle is cop) - CPD put away many gang heads which lead to splintering/lack of control - much of violence is struggle for control of drug trade -

Ron Santini from OP  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 6:00 PM

Shootings and crime are everywhere. Look at Fort Hood. However, theres a serious gang drug operation in the Austin area that needs to be addressed. Also, this summers going to be bad, Watch your six folks.

Winter Skye from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 5:35 PM

@Gail: And what "job" is that? Getting the "bad guys?" What about the parents' (most likely the parent's or grandparent's) job? We sit and act like the police will take care of everything. The truth is that in the first incident, the victim was living with relatives and he brought a hot mess to them. Why were people looking for him? We can surmise the reason. But I am sure you'll be on the ready to make excuses, call people racist and offensive and fantasize about the police being able to control all of this dysfunction.

Gail Moran from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 5:13 PM

Just Saying, your comments are offensive. The OP police will do their job.

Just Saying from Oak Park  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 5:08 PM

If we let Chicago annex the west side of Austin Avenue we could eliminate the vast majority of crime in our community.

OPP rezza  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 4:51 PM

Gang warfare comes to Oak Park? "It was the weather"... Oh wait, it's not ever hot yet. "It's an isolated incident"... Oh wait, it's now 2 "isolated incidents". I wonder what new excuses the village will come up with to protect the thin veneer of illusion that know as safety. We provide trickle down aid in the form of low income housing, and we get trickle up violence. Sounds like Oak Park.

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