Cellphone video captured part of a chaotic night at Chicago’s North Avenue Beach Tuesday, with one person injured in a shooting and several other individuals arrested following fights at and near the iconic landmark.
Chicago police say that several fights broke out near the beach house Tuesday night.
A short time later, gunfire erupted nearby, with a 19-year-old man critically wounded after he was shot in the face.
“It’s heartbreaking and sad to see that the kids want to come out they want to have fun its summer, but they can’t have fun because some few bad apples that want to show up and chaos like this happens. It’s very sad,” said Justin, who witnessed the violence firsthand.
He asked NBC 5 News to conceal his identity, and says that he runs the Chitown Crime Chasers Page on Facebook.
“The whole crowd was running away and I was running towards where the shooting happened with police,” he said. “They were chasing the suspect that shot the person.”
Police said a 19-year-old man was critically wounded in a shooting that took place at the beach. One suspect in the shooting is in custody, while another remain at-large, according to authorities.
Investigators are now asking for the public’s help to identify the person of interest, who was captured on nearby surveillance footage.
“One of the two tossed a fanny pack which was recovered and a glock handgun with an extended magazine was recovered,” Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said of the shooting.
Brown said officers started clearing the beach just before 10 p.m. The crowd eventually spilled into the Old Town neighborhood, where another fight broke out near North and Wells.
“Multiple officers tried to control that crowd and intervene and stop the fighting sustained non-life threatening injuries while dispersing the crowd,” said Brown.
Officers arrested at least four teens, three boys and one girl. One of them now facing aggravated battery charges for attacking an officer.
“I feel like it starts at home,” he said. “The parents need to be more active and involved in their kids’ lives, and what they’re doing monitor their activities and their crowd.”
While the superintendent said the department added more manpower at the beach, for some people like Justin he know its going to take so much more to keep the peace.
“I love our city, but it takes us to save us it takes a village,” he said. “We got to come together to stop the madness.”
Officers say they also made two gun arrests at North Avenue Beach while conducting security checkpoints there on Tuesday, with multiple weapons recovered throughout the evening.
Ald. Michelle Smith says that police added additional resources to patrolling beaches this week, including bike patrols and all-terrain vehicles, but emphasized the need for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to pursue charges against those who violated the law in the shooting and the violence that occurred near the beach.
In a letter, Smith also called for tightened perimeters around North Avenue Beach, along with private security and metal detectors at all entrances.