Chicago Police step up security after violence

July 4, 2008 9:07:06 PM PDT
Chicago police are stepping up patrols after four people were shot on Thursday night as crowds poured out of the Grant Park fireworks show and Taste of Chicago.One of those shot died from his injuries.

Police are now looking at surveillance video from businesses near the shooting. One teenager is under arrest and police say they recovered a weapon. The teenager was killed when problems escalated.

On Friday, the Taste of Chicago looked like a typical summer festival on a beautiful summer day. On Thursday, a beautiful summer night of fireworks evolved into violence as some left the Taste.

"He said to my other son, go home, be safe. So he knew it wouldn't happen and pow, they shot him," said Courtney Thomas, Sr., the victim's father.

Nineteen-year-old Courtney Thomas was shot in the head near Dearborn and Van Buren. His family called him "Roy."

"I'm going to miss him," said sister Keisha Thomas.

Chicago Police say two other teens were injured and the violence began as an altercation between some teens who knew each other.

"They came down for the Taste. All the police down there, so they would be safe," said Courtney Thomas, Sr.

Chicago Police say a teenager is in custody for the shooting. Now they are preparing for Friday night.

"We're going to have an even greater police presence and uniformed officers and officers in a covert status that will mingle with the crowd and provide even higher safety," said Superintendent Jody Weis, Chicago Police Department.

Thursday night's incident happened about a mile from the Taste of Chicago. Weis says more police will be assigned to keep an eye on groups leaving the food festival.


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