Updated 6/22/2012 at 10:00 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A man was in critical condition after being shot and wounded in a gang-related road rage incident right off the tony Magnificent Mile.
The 31-year-old man was shot on East Ontario Street just west of Michigan Avenue around 12:30 a.m. Police sources told the Sun-Times the victim is a “documented gang member.”
The location of the shooting just a few feet away from North Michigan Avenue — the city’s marquee shopping district — stunned Chicago aldermen.
“When you start having that [violence] in a place where people generally feel safe, that’s when we start becoming Detroit,” said one alderman, who asked to remain anonymous.
Police later Friday used the phrase “road rage” to describe the violent confrontation.
“These two gentlemen could have stopped any other place in the city. It’s just unfortunate they had to have this altercation and come to rest at Michigan and Ontario,” Chicago’s First Deputy Police Supt. Al Wysinger told CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
The police union, Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, isn’t buying that.
“If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, its a duck. This was a gang incident. We don’t have enough police out there, and people are taking advantage of that,” spokesman Pat Camden said.
Police say the victim was standing outside his car when a sport-utility vehicle pulled up, and someone inside asked him what gang he was in.
The man inside the SUV then opened fire, striking the victim in the abdomen. He was taken to nearby Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition.
Paramedics were seen assisting in front of the building at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Ontario Street, which houses the Ann Taylor store and the Grand Lux Café. Both establishments were closed at the time.
Downtown and River North already were on edge because of a return of the mob attacks that occurred in the area last summer. Those attacks involved random and innocent victims, including two doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Police presence was obvious along the Mag Mile Friday night.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report