Police investigate the scene near 1324 S Christiana Ave in Lawndale, Wednesday, July 21, 2021. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times | Anthony Vazquez, Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times
Ten people were shot in two separate shootings only three blocks apart.
A 14-year-old boy was killed and nine others wounded — including four additional teenagers — in two separate shootings within five minutes and three blocks of each other Wednesday evening in North Lawndale.
About 6:05 p.m., two teenage boys and three men were hurt after someone opened fire at the corner of Douglas Boulevard and Christiana Avenue, Chicago Police Deputy Chief Ernest Cato said.
A 14-year-old boy was shot in the head and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. He hasn’t been identified.
The other teen, 16, was also struck in the head and transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital in grave condition, police said.
Three men were taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where they were in stable condition, police said. A 22-year-old was shot in the foot while another, 24, was struck in the leg. A third man, also 24, was shot in the hip.
Police tape blocks off a section of the crime scene in front of Theodore Herzl School at the corner of Douglas Boulevard and Ridgeway Avenue in Lawndale on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Minutes later, another five males — including three teenagers — were shot outside Theodore Herzl Elementary School, near Douglas Boulevard and Ridgeway Avenue, Cato said.
A man, 18, was shot in the upper body and was taken in critical condition to Mt. Sinai Hospital, police said.
Two teenage boys, 15 and 17, were taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition, police said. The 15-year-old was shot in the leg while the other, 17, suffered a graze wound to the back.
A third teen boy, 14, was shot in the arm and taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital in good condition, police said, while a 22-year-old man was struck in the thigh and taken to the same hospital in good condition.
At the scene, a vehicle was seen turned on its side, believed to have been the result of someone making a turn at a high rate of speed, according to Cato.
A car sits on its side at a crime scene at the corner of Douglas Boulevard and Ridgeway Avenue in Lawndale on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.
Though only three blocks apart, the shootings didn’t appear to be related, Cato said.
Cato pleaded with community members who may have information to come forward.
“We’re going to need an all-hands-on-deck approach, and that approach is going to involve … our community getting involved, and saying what’s going on. Our community who has cellphone pictures, who has Facebook information. We’re going to need your help.”
On the two mass shootings being so close to one another, Cato said: “Unfortunately, we’re seeing this not only in our city. We’re seeing this in our country, mass shootings. If you’re asking for my feelings, I’m not happy about it at all. I think all of us should be sad about what’s going on in our country and in our city. And the best remedy for any of these shootings, again, is all hands on deck, and that is going to involve cooperation — not only Chicago Police Department — other the city agencies and those who live within our community.”
Reshorna Fitzpatrick, executive pastor of the Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church, said she was working in a nearby community peace garden when she heard gunshots. Then she saw people running and shooting each other.
“It kind of reminded me of some of the westerns [movies] that my dad [watched],” said Fitzpatrick, who said there was rapid shooting for 30 to 60 seconds.
“I’m heartbroken,” Fitzpatrick said. “I really wish that the community would come together and operate from a place of peace. That they would establish some type of faith, some type of order in the homes with their family members and have conversations, particularly around peace, and also around just being community — to just come in and be one.”
Deputy Chief Ernest Cato discusses two mass shootings that happened minutes apart Wednesday evening in North Lawndale.
Fitzpatrick stood by a group of four other local pastors as police put white markers by shell casings on the street and sidewalk near Herzl.
Fitzpatrick said her church hosts “Wellness Sundays” on the boulevard, where they invite community members to socialize and partake in various activities, like face painting and tight-rope walking on the grassy median.
“It’s really been working so that’s why this is really shocking to me,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s heartbreaking and shocking because we had gotten to a place where we were really experiencing some peace.”
At least 34 other shootings this year have wounded four or more people, according to a Sun-Times analysis of city data. Over the last five years, Chicago has recorded the most mass shootings in the nation by far, according to the Gun Violence Archive.