Photo by Lourdes Nicholls

As of July 12, BP gas station, 100 Chicago Ave., is now closing nightly at 11 p.m. The change in hours is in direct response to the recent fatal shooting of 18-year-old Jailyn Logan-Bledsoe, who was found unresponsive in the gas station’s parking lot last month.

The violent and tragic nature of her murder has brought the safety of 24-hour gas stations under scrutiny in Oak Park, which the village of Oak Park committed to addressing at the board’s July 19 meeting.

“We have met with many of the gas stations, inclusive of the gas station at 100 Chicago [Ave.], and expressed and articulated our concerns about the violence,” said Village Manager Kevin Jackson.

Logan-Bledsoe was in the parking lot of BP shortly after midnight, June 22, when two subjects opened fire on her. the cause of her death was ruled by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as a gunshot wound to the neck.

Two Chicago siblings, one 17 years old, have since been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the incident. The minor is being charged as an adult.

The Oak Park Police Department has kept Logan-Bledsoe’s mother abreast of the investigation, giving her details prior to their release to the media, according to Interim Police Chief Shatonya Johnson, who says she is committed to being a source of support as the case makes its way through court.

“Although we have made arrests in this case, it doesn’t mean that we are going to stop our support that we provide Ms. Logan because there is still a long way to go,” said Johnson.

“While she’s very thankful, we want to make sure that we continuously provide support throughout court proceedings because that’s when it’s going to get tough, when she has to relive the accounts of what occurred.”

Wednesday Journal could not reach Logan-Bledsoe’s mother for comment.

In an effort to combat further gas station violence, village staff is now “analyzing all the 24-hour gas stations in Oak Park,” according to Jackson. The results of that “comprehensive assessment” will likely go before the village board in early August.

To ensure safety in the meantime, the interim chief said police are continuously monitoring activities at the BP on Chicago Avenue with direct patrols in the daytime. Officers are stationed at the gas station beginning in the evening and through the night.

“We’re working with that gas station, as well as the other ones that have been identified in having more violent offenses, to talk about reduction of hours and other strategies to keep their patrons safe when they patronize the store,” Chief Johnson said.

The Oak Park Police Department carried out the investigation into Logan-Bledsoe’s murder with the assistance of the West Suburban Major Crimes Taskforce and the U.S Marshals Taskforce. Johnson thanked both agencies at the July 19 meeting, as well as the members of her department.

“I want to express my gratitude for my staff for the level of commitment and dedication that they provided during this investigation to provide closure to Jailyn’s family, friends and, particularly, the community.”

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