Oak Park police are investigating the death of a 27-year-old Chicago man who was shot near an Oak Park laundromat on the night of Dec. 26. Police believe the man was the victim of a “targeted shooting.”

“Targeted means the offender was seeking out a particular person,” Police Chief Shatonya Johnson explained. “It’s not a codeword for ‘gang-related.’”

Police received a report of shots fired at that address at 8:38 p.m., the day after Christmas. Dennis Johnson, of the 1300 block of North Mayfield Avenue in Chicago, was found with multiple gunshot wounds at the rear of the former Village Laundromat at 14 Chicago Ave., which closed permanently on Jan. 30, 2020.

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Johnson was treated by Oak Park paramedics and transported to Loyola University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:23 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

A press release published by the village of Oak Park stated that police “have no reason to believe there is any active threat to the community at this time.”

As police are currently investigating the shooting, the chief provided few details, other than calling it “a very serious investigation.” Johnson shared that “a lot of evidence” was collected at the scene, which police “had to analyze.” Police are also collecting witness statements and doing follow-up work.

“So we can successfully bring closure to the family,” the chief said.

Back in 2015, Roy Burton, who owned Village Laundromat, was among the shop owners who shared concerns with Wednesday Journal regarding the loss of economic vitality in the eastern section of Chicago Avenue.

The village’s lack of investment contributed to the district’s decline, as did the perception that the area was unsafe, according to Burton, who said at the time that 20 or so murders had occurred within a quarter-mile of his shop, principally on the Chicago side of Austin Boulevard, in the span of 15 years.

 Those with any information regarding Johnson’s death are directed to contact the Oak Park Police Department at 708-386-3800. Anonymous tips can be provided at 708-434-1636 or at oak-park.us/crimetip.

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