By Tara Molina

CHICAGO (CBS) — A man narrowly escaped gunfire in Portage Park in an incident that was caught on camera.

Thankful to be alive, the victim spoke out Monday to CBS 2’s Tara Molina as police investigated.

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“I had a strange sense – a sixth sense, if you will – that someone was lurking in the bushes,” said the victim, a 40-year-old man named Christopher.

Christopher said the feeling set in as he walked along Lavergne Avenue near Warwick Avenue. He kept walking, never turning around.

He is still uncomfortable now, and he does not want to publicize his last name. But he did share Ring camera video that captured the whole incident as a man quickly come up behind Christopher, putting a gun to his neck and demanded his money.

“I felt the gun,” Christopher said.

The man then pointed the gun in Christopher’s direction. Christopher turned to get away and the gun discharged as he did. No one was injured.

Afterward, a dark minivan pulled up and the man with the gun jumped in. The van fled south on Lavergne Avenue.

“Oh my God – I almost died,” Christopher said.

He believes it was that initial strange, gut feeling that saved him – the shadow he saw approach as he kept walking.

“I saw the shadow come, and that extra millisecond gave me the duck-and-spin move I made to avoid that shot,” Christopher said.

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This happened at 1:13 a.m. Sunday, blocks from Christopher’s home.

Christopher said he gave the video to Chicago Police, who told us they are looking into the attempted armed robbery and shooting.

Police would not say if they believe this close call could be connected to other crimes reported over the weekend.

“Crime has no boundaries or limits,” Christopher said.

And while this incident was not the first crime of its kind in Portage Park, it is not part of a trend in the area.

We have tracked crime, specifically violent crime, on the rise across the city. Portage Park is just a small part of the Jefferson Park (16th) Chicago Police District – which covers a large swath of the Northwest Side – so we narrowed the numbers down.

We found as of Sunday, Aug. 15, Portage Park had 32 robberies from the start of the year until that date. That figure is down from 41 during the same period in 2020 and 33 in 2019.

“I’m just glad I got away,” Christopher said.

And while he was feeling grateful Monday, Christopher told us such a scene in the neighborhood he’s called home for more than 30 years – a neighborhood that hasn’t seen a spike yet – should send a message about the state of the city.

“This is not a war zone – but it’s becoming a war zone,” he said, “and if someone doesn’t do something about it, it will only get worse.”

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Area Five detectives are investigating the incident. We are told no one is custody.

Tara Molina