Shots fired near Peraica's house

May 7, 2009 2:59:02 PM PDT
Police in the Chicago suburb of Riverside say whoever fired shots in Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica's neighborhood likely intended to hit his home. Officers discovered seven bullets that hit the home of Peraica's next-door neighbor Tuesday in the town west of Chicago.

Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said Thursday he believes Peraica's house was the target because an investigation has so far not revealed reasons why anyone else would have been targeted.

Peraica is an outspoken, high-profile county commissioner and an attorney with an active law practice.

"I can tell you one thing. I will not live in fear," said Tony Peraica, 52.

As many as seven shots hit the home. Police think they may have been fired from a moving car.

But if the shooter was trying to hit Tony Peracia's house, he or she missed by a few dozen yards. Instead, the shots shattered a neighbor's window and glass door.

"I can't think of anyone who would try to harm me or scare me," said Steve Hawk, Peraica neighbor.

This has been an especially heated week at the Cook County Board. Commissioner Peraica was part of a rebellion that voted to repeal President Todd Stroger's 1 percent sales tax hike. However, police won't know the motive until they find the triggerman.

"Because of his position here we're offering him more services because if it were targeted at him it would probably have a lot to do with his job here," said Tom Dart, Cook County sheriff.

"This seems to be a continuing pattern of intimidation and harassment that is of great concern to me and my wife and our children and our neighbors, who are not used to having seven slugs fired at their house," said Peraica.

Mr. Peraica's neighbors - two school teachers and their 10-year-old daughter - were at home. They did hear some noise but assumed it was the dog. The next morning, they found the bullet holes in their window and front door. They say they are supporters of the commissioner and have no plans to change their routine.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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