CHICAGO (CBS) — With more children and young people being shot in Chicago, police on Wednesday urged the community to come forward and help them solve crimes.
Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan and Community Policing Cmdr. Angel Novalez held a news conference Monday afternoon at Mamie Till-Mobley Park in the 6400 block of South Ellis Avenue in the Woodlawn neighborhood. It was at that park on Friday of last week where the 12-year-old son of a firefighter was wounded when three men opened fire.
Deenihan said the shooting followed a typical pattern, in which children were not the intended targets, but were out playing basketball or otherwise going about their business when someone came up and opened fire.
In the Woodlawn shooting, the boy suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the legs, Deenihan said. The boy who was shot does not appear in a video released by the CPD on Tuesday, but the men police said shot him just after 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14 do appear.
A man in a white shirt and black pants walks up to a fence, firing a gun into the park. It is clear as day.
“I’m kind of standing here again asking for the community’s assistance, because the witnesses in this case cannot identify the shooters,” Deenihan said.
In recent months, witnesses and residents of Chicago communities have come forward to solve numerous shootings, many of them in which young people were killed, Deenihan said.
On Friday, July 31, Janari Ricks, 9, was shot and killed outside the Cabrini Rowhouses in the 900 block of North Cambridge Avenue. Video and witnesses led to the arrest of Darrell Johnson, 39, who now stands charged with murder in that shooting.
On the evening of July 4th, Natalia Wallace, 7, was shot and killed while playing in her grandmother’s front yard in the 100 block of North Latrobe Avenue in the South Austin neighborhood. Three suspects have now been charged in that case, and tips from the community are to credit, Deenihan said.
On June 27, Lena Nunez, 10, visiting her grandmother at an apartment near Dickens and Drake avenues in Logan Square, when she was hit by a stray bullet that pierced a second-floor window around 9:30 p.m. She was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, and died the next day.
On Saturday, June 20, Charles Riley, 16, and Jasean Francis, 17, were shot and killed in the 7900 block of South Luella Avenue.
Laroy Battle, 19, was charged in that shooting thanks to help from the community, Deenihan said.
And on July 16, Be’Rasheet Mitchell, 21, was shot and killed at 107th Street and Indiana Avenue while home from the University of Illinois, Deenihan said. Mitchell was not part of any gang conflict, but he saw his sister’s boyfriend hit her and went to intervene, and the boyfriend shot and killed him for “no reason at all,” Deenihan said.
Because of cooperation, Steven Davis was arrested and charged in that case, he said.
“The overall message here is we need the community’s input to solve these cases,” Deenihan said. “Detectives are working extremely hard, but technology – the video technology – plus witness cooperation is what brings these cases to a conclusion.”
To facilitate the cooperation, the CPD is working to develop stronger relationships with Chicago communities, Novalez said.
“We’re making the commitment to grow those relationships,” he said, adding that this means understanding what com Understand what communities go through on a daily basis.
“I am not just a police officer. These are not just police officers. We’re also residents of the city of Chicago, and I would like to see it safe,” Novalez said.
Deenihan and Novalez’s news conference came just as police Supt. David Brown was holding another one about the shooting of a 9-year-old boy and his mother Wednesday afternoon in the South Austin neighborhood. Brown likewise made a call for the public to come forward in that case.
“Someone knows who these suspects are, and we’ve seen communities in recent weeks come forward with information to solve violent crimes, and those communities were made safer once we captured and brought the violent offenders to justice,” Brown said.
He asked anyone with information “about who did this cowardly act and struck a mother and a 9-year-old boy” to come forward as well.
Back at the news conference in Woodlawn, Deenihan addressed the progress of the Looting Task Force that has been set up to identify and apprehend people involved in the rash of looting that took place in the early-morning hours Monday, Aug. 10, in the Loop, River North, the Magnificent Mile, Streeterville, and Lincoln Park, among other areas.
Deenihan said the task force has identified more than 219 locations where looting took place and has received more than 800 emails.
“Please keep sending the emails as well,” he said.
The task force has also recorded more than 100 locations from private video and has uploaded 17 videos to its YouTube page, and 15 cases of felony charges have now been approved thanks to information received by the task force.
Anyone with information is asked to go to the Area Three Looting Task Force website or call Area Three detectives at (312) 744-8263.