Shot fired Wednesday night after fight in front of Holmes School

Shot misses, but boy injured in fight. Two sought by police


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By Ben Meyerson

Chicago Journal Editor

Update x2:

Oak Park Public School officials said Thursday afternoon they have no reason to believe it would affect Holmes School or its families.

"We have spoken with the Oak Park Police Department regarding the incident that occurred outside Holmes School last night," said Chris Jasculca, spokesman for District 97. "While we cannot comment on the specifics of the investigation, it appears, based on the interview the police conducted with the victim, that this was an isolated incident that is in no way related to the school, our students or our staff." 

Update x1:

Oak Park police commander LaDon Reynolds said that the victim was a 17-year-old boy, and the incident started as an attempted robbery.

The two teens allegedly told the victim to give them his property, Reynolds said, though it wasn't clear what they wanted from him.

Original story:

Two teens shot at an Oak Park boy Wednesday night in front of Holmes School as the youth ran away from them after a fight.

The two 17- to 18-year-olds gave the Oak Park boy a head injury during the fight, which happened around 8:30 p.m. in front of the school, 508 N. Kenilworth Ave. in Oak Park.

As the boy was running away from the two teens, one of them shot at him with a handgun, but missed.

The boy was taken to West Suburban Hospital for his head injury and released.

Police radio reports from Wednesday night revealed that the bullet's shell casing had been recovered.

The suspect who fired a gun was described by police as being black, roughly 5-feet, 10-inches tall with a medium build and short black hair. He was last seen wearing a brown letterman-style jacket with green sleeves.

Police are investigating the case as an aggravated battery.

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Reader Comments

61 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Violet Aura  

Posted: December 8th, 2010 11:46 AM

Megan: You sound like you lived in my old 'hood. But when I was growing up, I never heard gunshots. I would wager that this is a fairly recent phenomenon. And I also notice that you no longer reside in that area, but rather in RF, which is pretty affluent. I rent an apt. in RF, do not live in a house. I didn't just hear gunshots in the distance in my last place; the police collected seven shells BELOW MY WINDOW! Apathy is unacceptable. You asked how I am trying to help. I am sounding the alarm.


Posted: December 7th, 2010 2:13 PM

Funny how one comment can bring on a slew of comments and judgments. I, too, have lived in OP, a block west of Austin to be exact, and went to bed to the sound of gunshots at night. I also lived in the lower income bracket. No one's upbringing is perfect nor is every neighborhood perfect and safe. It's how the community responds to incidents like this shooting that really matter and preventative measures are taken as a result.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 7th, 2010 1:48 PM

Blissings, all:) I used to post on a "progressive" site but people didn't want to hear when I questioned certain policy decisions of the POTUS. I was accused of not being a "true" Democrat, of actually being a tea party member, etc. I left there when I realized that most people were still in denial. Black-and-white thinking is easy--just pick a side. My beliefs span a whole lot of areas because I am so diverse in experiences. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Toodles!

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 7th, 2010 1:31 PM

To clarify: these social ills did not occur in OP, but another Western 'burb in which I lived for many years prior to moving to RF. But I do want to thank you, Meghan, for affirming to me that I am pissing in the wind here. Most are not yet ready. The ivory tower types are so insulated that they have no idea what it means to be law-abiding, low-income and no money to move. Thanks be to God that my situation has been changed! But I am going to stop posting here. You just don't get it.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 7th, 2010 1:26 PM

Megan-I know you live in RF but I won't jump to conclusions and ASSume that you are in the top 2%. As an adult, I have always lived in the lower income bracket. I didn't care because I am not a materialistic person. However, when I had to deal with some of these social ills which have become more visible in OP, do you have any idea how terrifying it is? To wake up to the sound of gunshots below your window? It happened to me two years ago. Living with a crackhouse below you? Not fun.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 7th, 2010 1:18 PM

Oh and Megan? The beauty part of only being 50% White is that I don't have any liberal White guilt and can approach the truth as is. You and I live in a bubble, otherwise known as RF. I understand that totally, especially since I just moved here from another suburb that has gone downhill fast. It was there that I realized (after a number of years) that I had a rather unique upbringing in OP where people were involved in their community. And despite trying to help, it takes us all.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 7th, 2010 1:13 PM

First of all, I don't live in OP anymore. But I did grow up there. I actually grew up in the section close to Austin, so I have a lot of understanding of what it means to come from the "wrong side of the tracks." As for your other statement, read again, dear. I ASKED Omar where he hails from. Oh, and I am Hispanic. Sorry to bum you out but thanks for playing. Mighty White of you...

Megan from River Forest  

Posted: December 7th, 2010 12:42 PM

Violet - you are so quick to assume that someone with a name like "Omar Diaz" automatically comes from the Pilsen/Little Village area and quick to assume that because Kevin is pointing out your racist remarks that he is Black. I'm white and see you as nothing but a bigot that has nothing better to do than to go on WJ and badger people. What do you do for the community to make it safer? How do you stop "low-lifes" from "ruining your area"? Oak Park is not paradise - far from it.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 7th, 2010 12:21 PM

Kev, I don't know if you have lived in OP your whole life, but I suspect that too many of these people brushing off this shooting have come from other communities with a long history of dysfunction. So OP looks like paradise compared to K-Town or Humboldt Park. But they have been conditioned to think that these acts are par for the course and there's nothing a person can do. I only mentioned race in regards to describing PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS of perps. And yes, most are from Chitown, LOL

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 7th, 2010 12:17 PM

Please forgive me, Kev, for not being all chipper. Yeah, I come on here to bitch because I don't live in La-La Land and I see way too many people shrugging their shoulders and accepting whatever comes their way. Are you Black? I suspect so, since you are reading "racism" into any posts of mine decrying not mentioning race. Kev, I am of mixed heritage. If you saw me, you would not think "White." But I refuse to allow political correctness to infect our thought patterns any longer. *To be cont.*


Posted: December 7th, 2010 2:20 AM

Also while i agree that this paper and any other paper should start to put a description or sketches of these people up, i do not assume what race they are. i got held at gun point by a white male and i have been jumped by a black male.....IN OP. it is so wrong to assume things honestly it makes you no better then the criminals themselves.


Posted: December 7th, 2010 2:18 AM

@Violet Aura, seriously i go through these comments (and not just for this article) and you have nothing nice to say ever! it really is annoying to see someone be as racist as you are. you say "not allow low-lifes to ruin my area" look in the mirror lady cause people like you ruin it as well.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 10:04 PM

Why Omar, that would be impossible since I am a woman! But thanks for the classy response. Not only do you think it's just normal and expected for those of us who like to live near Chicago to accept shootings, you think that using a handle makes my comments any less valid. Whatever's clever, dewd. I didn't grow up with this crap and will not allow low-lifes to ruin my area! Cheers!

Omar Diaz from Oak park  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 9:16 PM

You're right. Arguing about it under a fake name on the internet is definitely the way to solve it. It's reality, get some nutz and post under your name or stop addressing me.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 8:50 PM

I got cut off: blind eye. Where are you from, Omar? Your name indicates a Hispanic heritage. When you read the newspaper and see Pilsen, Back of the Yards,Little Village, Logan Square, and Humboldt Park--all Hispanic-majority 'hoods, with all the drivebys, perhaps this is old hat for you. Even those of us who grew up in OP and are familiar with Austin didn't hear about so many shootings in the '70s. It is not normal for shootings to occur. If you believe so, you need some help.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 8:45 PM

Hey Omar, check this out: that solution sucks! You act as if there is nothing we can do, which is a filthy lie. I don't know if you live in OP, but people like you who minimize the problem ARE a part of the problem! It means you think it's inevitable, which is not true. Being involved means to cultivate an awareness of your street and be responsive. If you see a guy standing in front of his apt. or house with a cell phone, doesn't seem to be waiting for a ride, observe him. Don't turn a blind ey

Omar Diaz from Oak Park  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 2:44 PM

You all live in the 3rd largest Metropolitan area smack dab next to the major city. Crime is part of the price you pay for your choice of location. You don't live in a gated community, stop treating it as if it were one. This is in no way to condone the activity, but the surprise people have in today's day and age is laughable. Wake up, realize where you live if it freaks you that out move the hell west/north/south/east until you see corn and it'll lessen.

John Moore  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 2:07 PM

Saying "Crime is down in Oak Park" to spin the violence and fear is like saying "The operation was a success but the patient died." Its still terrible. Does no one remember what Austin went through in 1970? Its now happening in OP, only slower.

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 12:01 PM

While overall crime in Oak Park has deceased since 1991, so has crime throughout the Chicago area and Illinois. According to State of Illinois crime statistics, Oak Park lags behind (48%) the overall trend in decreased crime in Illinois (57%) since 1991. More importantly, armed robbery incidents are significantly higher in Oak Park relative to other local peer communities. The village's aggregation of armed robberies into the overall crime index rates masks the significance of the crime type.


Posted: December 6th, 2010 11:39 AM

Yes, please light that area better at night- I have called the police for kids/teens shooting off fireworks on that school playground.

B Jackson from Oak Park  

Posted: December 6th, 2010 10:04 AM

Crime and public safety discussions are always a great idea, involving citizens, businesses and the police. But let's not get too carried away by the headline of the day. Crime is down in Oak Park.

Tad Wefel from Oak Park  

Posted: December 4th, 2010 10:43 PM

I am interested in discussing with anyone out there, politically left or politically right, who is interested in putting together an organized response on this issue of growing crime in Oak Park. This is not going to be a political debate--leave that for the talk shows. We live here. I've got young kids. You might too. Let's get organized and let those that run this village know what we expect.


Posted: December 4th, 2010 10:02 PM

@Lamar Right back at you. The fact that some of your fondest memories about growing up in Oak Park are based upon the belief that two brutal thugs kept an eye on things in the neighborhood does not demonstrate a reasoned thought process. Accardo and Giancana robbed, cheated and murdered for personal gain. Don't think for moment they cared about you or your neighbors. Shameful that you speak of them with such pride.

Jim Mariner from River Forest  

Posted: December 4th, 2010 6:54 PM

As Hemingway once said "Broad lawns and daylight armed robberies".

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 4th, 2010 12:40 PM

I am not naive enough to believe that we can eradicate crime 100% but allow it to escalate? WTF kind of mentality is that??? Anyone not part of the solution is part of the problem. The solution in regards to crime in OPRF is to be vigilant, meaning don't walk around with headphones on as easy prey and giving incentive for criminals to see these towns full of easy marks. Notice changes on your block--strange cars parked or cruising, unusual foot traffic. Be involved, is what I am trying to say!


Posted: December 4th, 2010 10:06 AM

To hear some of these comments makes me cringe. Im glad that most of them have been shot down(no pun intended) by other folks. Guns: eliminate them? heck no! why give the criminals the only access to guns? why not be able to defend yourself and your family? will accidents happen? yes, this is life and bad things happen, like for instance, teens driving cars. cars are dangerous to us, lets ban them. see how stupid it sounds? This is oak park. it has crime, deal with it bc its not goin away, sorry

Enuf is Enuf from Oak Park  

Posted: December 4th, 2010 9:17 AM

Please do not confuse a local public safety issue with a 2nd amendment issue. It is not safe in Oak Park, anytime (including daytime), or anywhere (including public walks, back yards and garages). For crime statistics, refer to the OPPD web site at, and pay close attention to armed robbery and home invasion. While Pope and Barwin dither away limited resources on downtown development, local residents are victimized by crime on a frequent and regular basis.

Lamar from Acona  

Posted: December 3rd, 2010 11:21 PM

Harve, "Your(sic) darn lucky..." You really don't know what you're typing about. Gang bosses lived in the villages back then, and they did not tolerate petty criminals on their turf. It's as simple as that. I'm not suggesting you import some new leaders of "our thing", I actually don't have an answer other that the obvious, "Run Away".


Posted: December 3rd, 2010 8:51 PM

Take a guess what kinda of people did this?????????????/ HMMM I wonder! They ruin OP!

Jean Mertowski  

Posted: December 3rd, 2010 1:23 PM

Violet, thanks for your input. I don't plan on buying another condo as i am living with what you just described. I am just sick and tired of not being able to feel safe walking down the street at any time or even safe in your own back yard. Sure don't get what you pay for in this town. I am hoping within a year to two years i will have left the town i grew up in, my parents grew up in, my grandmother grew up in.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 3rd, 2010 1:16 PM

Jean: Do your homework. Don't assume that DuPage is all sweetness and light. Actually, I think the best solution is to buy cheap land in a rural area or small town house. Nowadays because of the housing freefall, condos are being rented and so you could buy and have these nightmare tenants!

Jean Mertowski  

Posted: December 3rd, 2010 12:52 PM

Violet, i see the changes too and its def not for the better. I for one am leaving once i sell my condo. Moving to Dupage Co. I wish more would get vocale about this issue and leave this town or threaten to leave this town. Then OP will further become part of the west side, something Oak Park has been striving for. More money for a bloated school system, more handouts for low income housing? How about more money for more police? Peace out if there is any left.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 3rd, 2010 12:08 PM

I don't know if anyone reading this lives in that 'hood, closer to Harlem. I know someone who lives in an apt. on Chicago and some of his neighbors are...interesting. One was very hostile towards him for no reason (legit one, at least). But here's the kicker: this man told me that he hears gunshots in the middle of the night and I took it to mean on a regular basis! This is OP, people! It's hard to fathom that this is going on in my hometown.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 3rd, 2010 12:03 PM

I was just thinking what it's gonna take for the apologist bleeding hearts in OP to finally GET IT: this ain't no joke. It's happening on the West and South Sides all the damn time, Berwyn started seeing a steep uptick in crimes and shootings (from my perspective at least), and just recently, a drug deal gone back in Forest Park led to shots fired. This is the time to step up our game, man. Be visible. Pull a Gladys Cravitts and always look out your window if you hear strange noises.

Violet Aura  

Posted: December 3rd, 2010 12:00 PM

@Muriel, et. al. regarding the 2nd Ammendment: I hate guns, won't touch one, but it is beyond ludicrous to even utter those words regarding this instance. Do you honestly believe that these teenybopper ganstas actually have gun permits? LOL! So our ban only prevents those with honest intentions from arming themselves if they see fit. Personally, I don't think it would deter too much, unless someone walks down the street with their finger on the trigger. But I am less inclined to support this ban


Posted: December 2nd, 2010 11:25 PM

Come on, Lamar. You credit your feeling of being safe in your nighborhood due to the fact that two vicious killers lived in the vicinity. Your darn lucky you didn't cross them or you would have suffered the same fate as the five guys who robbed Big Tuna's River Forest home. Hoodlums and gangbangers are the problem.

Lamar from Acona  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 7:32 PM

One of the great pleasures of my youth in Oak Park (1959-64) was walking at night. Those lovely street lights, the slate sidewalks, the trees, the magnificent homes. I never thought about it then but another wonderful thing was the complete and utter security. Security provided by our good neighbors Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana.

Jim A. Major from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 6:52 PM

How can you help the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us? Go to the Oak Park Police Department Website you will find information such as daily crime stats, crime prevention tips and the Resident Beat Officer Program. This program has one meeting a month in your neighborhood with an officer who lives in your zone. Get to know your neighbors and look out for each other. Report suspicious activity to police. I am posting this again because I think the best thing that any citizen can do right now is support our Police Department. See you out there. Stay safe!

Don from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 6:14 PM

Actually, Ted, et al, I was not offering any constitutional analysis. I was merely pondering how the drafters may view this situation. What word(s) is/are not spelled correctly? Partyer? How about, Party-er, or Partier? My post was not meant to be as mean spirited as your reply seemed to be.

Ben Meyerson  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 5:38 PM

@S. Plissken: Point by point -- (1.) In my first update above, I note that the boy is 17. (2.) The police won't comment either way on if the boy knew his assailants, they're staying mum on many of the details. (3.) Again, I asked the police, but no comment from them on if the two crimes were related.

S. Plissken from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 5:30 PM

@Ben, since you are online: 1. How old was the oak park boy? 2.Did the Oak Park "youth"(a little more pc for the oak park crowd than boy, yes?) know the two assailants? 3.Any connection to the two who held up the guy in his back yard and took $12.00? Thanks...from me and Teddy.

Ben Meyerson  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 5:21 PM

@27365: Many descriptions of offenders contain a guess at the perpetrators' ages. They're not always necessarily accurate, but they're distributed with a description of the crime. Thanks for reading.

S. Plissken from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 5:18 PM

you have to be 21 to buy a hand gun in illinois: In Illinois you must be at least 18 years of age to purchase a long gun and at least 21 years of age to purchase a handgun. You also have to have a FOID card! Seems those young mischief makers have broken a couple of rules, 2nd amendment or not.


Posted: December 2nd, 2010 5:09 PM

Let's get over the partisan comments (e.g. the "Tea-Partyer" comment)- we all agree that kids have no business carrying guns. I would like to know why we know the two perps who attempted the robbery were teens- did the victim know them?

S. Plissken from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 5:08 PM

I always get out alive! I am actually not arguing anything against the 2nd amendment. Just stating a personal feeling is all. Bet you have some rockin' idiots that live near you that you wouldn't trust with a garden hose, much less a gun. I live with an idiot who I know I don't trust, he's 10yrs old. Boys will be boys and a great kid. I will teach him to shoot, but it will be at the same gun club in upstate NY that i learned to shoot. Teddy, Keep rockin' but don't point your gun at me, thanks

Theodore Nugent  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 4:59 PM

@S. Plissken: We can agree to disagree on whether our responsible neighbors are entitled to assert their 2nd Amend. rights. I remain cocked, locked and ready to rock! P.S. Snake Plissken? I thought you were dead!

S. Plissken from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 4:58 PM

Oh and Teddy, I thought you were mostly a bow and arrow guy now?

S. Plissken from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 4:51 PM

Teddy, your cat scratch fever gives me chills. I love guns, I love shooting them, I love the smell of gun powder. Guns are great. really! But only in the right hands. I don't hunt, I don't like killing things. I do eat meat/poultry and fish, but I don't kill my own food. I like corn on the cob, and I don't grow my own food. That said I don't want any guns in my house. I don't want any guns in my neighbors houses either. Of course I don't guns in the hand of mini gangbangers either.

Theodore Nugent from undefined  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 4:42 PM

@Don: Your Constitutional analysis might hold more weight if you could actually spell...

Don from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 4:32 PM

The Second Amendment, drafted in 1791, states in its entirety: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed". I'm not sure the founding fathers intended this to mean teenagers or Tea Partyers.

Sharon from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 4:21 PM

To say that if he had a gun he'd be dead now is ridiculous. If everyone was allowed to be armed there'd be a lot fewer holdups. The miscreants would not know who was armed and who wasn't. Let's stop living in Fantasyland.


Posted: December 2nd, 2010 3:18 PM

When it is illegal to own a gun then only the criminals will own guns purchased illegally or stolen. I still believe our founding fathers knew what they were doing when they wrote the second amendment.

Phil Castro from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 2:58 PM

Let's not turn this into a 2nd amendment debate. As a resident of the 600 block of Kenilworth with small kids, this is unacceptable. Stop spending Village money on unnecessary programs and start spending money on things that matter: schools , roads and public safety. The Village has no business micromanging downtown Oak Park business any more than it does running condo associations. And no more school refferenda - learn to live within your means like the rest of the people in Oak Park.

Christine Pastor from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 1:25 PM

It was barely a month ago when the Tribune featured this neighborhood as "one of the 10 best neighborhoods in the nation". We live in a place where we have a taste of both worlds! Remember this when property taxes are due Dec. 13th.

Diana Rasche from Oak Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 12:48 PM

Ben, good reporting. And, it is refreshing to read in a crime report a FULL description(race)of the suspect,for the public to be aware & informed. Crime will only increase & it's only a matter of time(as we see now), that it is becoming possible for crimes to occur in other areas besides the east side & south side of Oak Park. This village needs to support the police dept. w/funds, and reduce other programs in order to do so, otherwise our quality of life & property values all go downhill.


Posted: December 2nd, 2010 12:24 PM

This is simply unacceptable. Who were these kids? Where were they from? What were they doing there? What's next, drive-bys?

Jean Buckley  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 12:12 PM

Aggravated battery? Sounds like attempted murder as well. Hard to rationalize this one away--8:30 at night is not late to be out. The Oak Park boy, or an uninvolved bystander (someone walking a dog, or sitting in the window of a nearby house), could have been killed. I hope the police find the guys, quickly, and that they make a good case against them. Doing so is the best deterrence.

not given from river forest  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 12:08 PM

Ms. Schnierow, Your point assumes that the offender purchased his gun legally. You should acknowledge that crimes such as this are committed not by law abiding gun owners, but those without licenses and whose guns are probably stolen.

Jenn S from Forest Park  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 12:03 PM

I completely agree with the other comment. How fortunate this teen wasn't killed. If he had had a gun, he probably would be dead.

Lori from undefined  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 12:02 PM

This is very disturbing. There are always children, families, tourists, people walking dogs at/near Holmes. It's not a very well-lit area. In the past, I've also found used condoms and drug paraphrenalia under the playground equipment. Perhaps improving the lights would help deter such things. And I echo Ms. Schnierow's comments.

muriel schnierow from River Forest,Il 60305  

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 11:56 AM

As long as we fail to limit guns due to a misinterpretation of the 2nd amendment people will die from guns that no one should own.As long as we pursue policies of leniency people will do as they please.It has to end but in what way??

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