'We all want to be safe': Businesses in Chicago's Motor Row concerned amid recent shootings

Michelle Gallardo Image
Monday, February 14, 2022
Businesses in South Loop's Motor Row concerned amid recent shootings
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Businesses in Chicago's Motor Row in South Loop are voicing their concerns amid recent shootings in the up-and-coming area.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It is Super Bowl Sunday in Chicago and in the South Loop's Motor Row area, business owners are just hoping to keep things peaceful

"We have to have more resources than we're getting. We have to because people are getting shot," said Shawn Halloway, owner of 7-7-3-1-2 Parking Services.

Safe is not how any of these businesses are feeling these days.

A man was critically injured after he was shot around 11:30 p.m. Saturday while standing in an alley at 22nd Street and Michigan Avenue.

The Saturday before that, 44-year-old Jacek Rodnicki was shot and killed during what police believe was a carjacking gone wrong near 24th Street and Wabash Avenue. The murder prompted a meeting between all the business owners in the area who agree that while a bigger police presence is needed, they need to get involved as well.

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"I think everybody knows that when a police officer is present, crime goes away. But when police officers aren't there, they know they can come down here and do whatever they want to do," said Lionell Clemens, owner of Bar 22.

"We're here to make money and feed our families," Halloway added. "With that being said, we have to hire our own security team to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Business owners blame the increase in crime on an easing pandemic, which has allowed the once-thriving McCormick Place and its surrounding hotels to begin welcoming back visitors, and unfortunately, criminals in search of an easy target.

"We understand this is an up-and-coming area, and everybody wants to be down here, but we all want to be safe," Clemens said.

Police said both South Loop shootings are still under active investigation, with no one in custody in either of the incidents