An argument near a South Side alternative high school erupted into gunfire near the CTA’s Sox-35th station when multiple shooters chased two boys down 35th Street, leaving them both dead Wednesday afternoon, Chicago police said.
The confrontation began around 3 p.m. at Youth Connection Charter School at 10 W. 35th St. near the Bronzeville neighborhood, said Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
The victims, a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old, ran away west on 35th Street toward the Red Line and Guaranteed Rate Field as the shooters fired at them, Johnson said. Police did not yet know what sparked the argument, he said.
No information about the victims was immediately available, but police believe they may have been students at the high school.
One who suffered gunshot wounds to the chest, abdomen and face was taken to Stroger Hospital and another, shot in the body, was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center. Both later died, police said.
The assailants, possibly as many as three, sped north on LaSalle Street and east on 31st Street in a beige Ford Explorer, police said.
No one was in custody, but Johnson said detectives have a “very good eyewitness.” Investigators also will be reviewing surveillance video.
“We have to do a better job as a society of holding people that commit these types of crimes accountable,” Johnson said.
Chicago police officers work the scene of a shooting near the CTA’s Sox-35th station on Sept. 26, 2018. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune)
The area of the shooting, near the border of the Bronzeville and Armour Square neighborhoods, was busy with pedestrians Wednesday afternoon. The crime scene stretched from State Street to the entrance of the Red Line, near the Illinois Institute of Technology campus.
The broad-daylight shooting happened near a Metra Station and between heavily trafficked Green and Red Line stations, as well as near the Chicago Police Department’s headquarters.
Carl Wiley said he was sitting at an outdoor Starbucks patio on State Street with two others when shots rang out as dozens of children from a nearby school streamed along the streets.
“It sounded like 15 shots,” Wiley, 31, a social worker who works with clients on the South Side, said about an hour after the shooting. The rhythm of the shooting sounded like an exchange of gunfire.
“We actually thought it was fireworks from Sox Park. We thought maybe there was a game going on and there was a home run or something. But the cadence of the shots was pretty clear,” Wiley said.
“School had just let out. There were a ton of kids all over the street.”
A short time later, as he moved toward a Metra overpass, he said he saw numerous shell casings in the street.
The shooting brought back fearful memories for Wiley, who said he was at an ice cream shop pelted with gunfire earlier this summer.
“I thought I was fine, but when I heard that shot I felt as scared as I did that time I had just been shot at. I wish I could be more calm in these type of situations, but this seemed to hit close to home and it’s getting pretty scary.”
CTA spokeswoman Irene Ferradaz said Red Line service had not been affected. Metra was not affected either, said spokesman Michael Gillis.
In other Wednesday shootings:
- A 32-year-old man was shot in the shoulder around 8:25 p.m. in the 7600 block of South Hamilton Avenue in the South Side’s Gresham neighborhood, police said. He was stabilized on scene.
- About 6 p.m., a 16-year-old boy was shot in the ankle in the 2200 block of West Maypole Avenue. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was in good condition.
- A 27-year-old man was wounded in the “upper leg’’ about 5:10 p.m. in the 5800 block of South Michigan Avenue in the Washington Park neighborhood. He was listed in critical condition at University of Chicago Medical Center.
- Two people were shot about 2:10 p.m. in the 900 block of North Harding Avenue in the city’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. Police were not releasing details yet, but one person was wounded in the hip and back; the other was shot in the arm and was taken to Stroger Hospital, police said.
- A 17-year-old boy accidentally shot himself around 1 p.m. in the 2900 block of South Wabash Avenue in the Bronzeville neighborhood as he went back to the scene to “settle’’ an argument he had earlier with an acquaintance. On his way there, he accidentally shot himself in the leg with the gun he was carrying. The boy was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, but police did not release his condition.