CHICAGO (CBS) — Two men were killed and four were wounded in a shooting on a block a Chicago alderman said is notorious for drug trafficking in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side.
Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) said his office has noticed an uptick in violence in the neighborhood in the past six weeks, and he’s all but certain drug territory played a role in Sunday afternoon’s shooting on the 3500 block of West Van Buren Street.
“This block is known for drug traffic; and again this is not new to us, it’s not new to the community, it’s not new to the police department,” he said. “This drug business is fueling all of this violence, and we really need to do something towards the drug sales in this neighborhood.”
Police said six men were standing together around 4:30 p.m., when a white four-door sedan – possibly a Chevy Impala – pulled up, and several people got out and started shooting.
“It’s so heart-wrenching to walk up to this yellow and red tape,” said Vicki Taylor, who attends church nearby.
Two of the victims, a 23-year-old man and a 27-year-old man, were shot in the chest, and died at Stroger Hospital.
Three other men who were shot, ages 18, 23, and 24, were taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition. A sixth man, 26, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition.
Henry Knowles witnessed the shooting, bringing back memories of losing three of his own children to street violence.
“I done lost three kids to violence, so the first shot was enough for me to scream,” he said.
Police have not said what prompted the shooting, but witnesses said a large group of people had been running up and down the street in the hours before the shooting. Neighbors said it appeared there had been an argument on the block.
“It’s unfortunate that our children, who deserve the right to play in their neighborhood, to walk to their schools, are being subjected to behavior that is not really humanly,” said Carol Washington, who attends a nearby church.
No one was in custody Monday morning. Area Central detectives were investigating.