By DON BABWIN and CLAIRE SAVAGE | Associated Press/Report for America
CHICAGO (AP) — Four teenagers were injured — one critically — in a drive-by shooting Wednesday afternoon near a high school on Chicago's Northwest Side, police said.
The shooting happened at about 2:45 p.m. outside an ice cream shop across the street from Carl Schurz High School. Deputy Chief Roberto Nieves said police believe a dark SUV pulled up to a group of people and someone inside opened fire before the vehicle sped off.
A 15-year-old boy was shot in the face and the neck and was reported in critical condition, he said. A second 15-year-old boy was shot in the back and was in good condition, while a 17-year-old boy was in good condition and was being treated for a graze wound to his leg and an 18-year-old man was shot in the leg and was also in good condition.
Nieves said no arrests have been made and detectives have not yet determined a motive for the shooting of the four teens that he described as high school students. He did not know if any or all of the teens attended Carl Schurz High School. He said detectives are analyzing footage from surveillance cameras in the hopes of identifying suspects.
Chicago Public Schools issued a statement saying a shooting occurred just before a high school's dismissal bell but would not confirm the school name. Later, Nieves said he believed some students had been dismissed before the shooting because the school releases students for the day on a staggered schedule.
The school went on a lockdown while police responded. That lockdown was later lifted and students were released, the statement said.
“Due to privacy concerns and student confidentiality, the District typically does not confirm the identity or school affiliation of any victims,” the statement said.
The new school year started Monday in Chicago.
Nieves said the police department would beef up patrols near the school Thursday morning and afternoon.
Mily Garcia, a parent who was waiting outside the school to pick up her daughter, told the Chicago Sun-Times that she saw someone in a passing SUV open fire at a group of people outside La Michoacana ice cream shop. She said the school had been locked down and she was still waiting for her daughter to be released from school at 3:30 p.m.
The incident comes amid widespread gun violence in a city that has in recent years seen more homicides than any city in the United States. While the city has seen a reduction in the number of homicides and shooting incidents compared to the same period last year, the totals remain high. According to the police department's statistics, the city has seen 425 homicides as of Aug. 22, down from 519 for the same period last year. Also, there have been 1,828 shooting incidents, compared to 2,239 during the same period in 2021.
The area of the school in the city's Old Irving Park neighborhood has seen gun violence before, including in 2019 when a 17-year-old boy in his car was shot near the school.
Savage is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
At just $12/year, your subscription not only helps us grow, it helps maintain our commitment to independent publishing.