Chicago alderman calls for more police after woman, 72, shot in Lakeview

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Concerns about crime continue to grow in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood after a suburban woman was shot during a walk with her family Thursday afternoon.

Police said the 72-year-old woman wasn't even the target as someone in a car fired those shots at about 1:36 p.m. on the 3100-block of North Broadway. The shots were just inches away from hitting a little boy in a stroller.

"It is really horrifying. Just really creepy," said Grace Brasey, who works nearby. "I live really close by as well and just the concept of being shot at 2 p.m. is a little alarming."

The unmistakable pop of gunfire sent Kurtz running from the back of a neighboring bike shop.

"I came out and saw her lying there," she said. "I went down and, at the time, I didn't know it was her niece cinching her leg with a hoodie."

Trained in first aid, Kurtz stepped in to help.

While the woman who'd been shot needed medical attention, she said her family members began to panic.

"They seemed really calm at first and kind of when I got there, relaxed a little bit and figured out she's been shot! This is a thing that's happening. They were starting to get upset, the baby was starting to get upset," Kurtz recalled.

This marks the second shooting this week around the Lakeview area after Hermilo Beltran was murdered Sunday night walking to work at the Happy Camper on North Clark.

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Friday, 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney issued a statement about the recent string of shootings, saying in part, "As it has been for several years, crime remains my number one priority. I have repeatedly called for more police presence in Lakeview and I find it unacceptable that our 19th Police District staffing numbers are so low."

Tunney said with baseball season starting, additional personnel are needed more.

"We're a big entertainment area," Tunney said. "We have got to have the person power on our streets."

Tunney also spoke about footage obtained after the shooting.

"There is footage. The best footage came, actually, from the Chamber of Commerce, which was actually immediately south of the incident ... I'm not sure if we have a license plate," Tunney said.

"The south and west side has been putting up with this for way too long," said Maureen Martino, executive director of the Lakeview East Chamber. "The North Side needs to step up and they need to be vocal. We all need to come as a city together and stop this."

The woman sustained a gunshot wound to the upper thigh and was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital in good condition. Police reported no arrests in either shooting.

Full statement by Alderman Tunney:

"Tragically, in the past week, the 44th Ward has experienced two shootings. On Sunday night, Hermilo Beltran, was killed behind 3458 N Clark. This afternoon, in the 3100 block of N Broadway, a 72-year-old woman was shot in the leg by unknown offenders driving by in a car. Police do not believe she was the intended target. Fortunately, she is in stable condition and is expected to recover.

"I was driving on Briar near Broadway returning to my office minutes after today's shooting and was on scene shortly after the victim was placed in the ambulance. I saw the anguish and anger I felt reflected in the faces of witnesses and others in the vicinity. The police presence after the incident was swift and significant. I am confident that with assistance of witnesses and video from nearby security cameras, the CPD will work diligently to solve these two shootings.

"While shootings in the 44th Ward are rare, violence has been brought to our neighborhoods too often in the last few years. As I have stated numerous times both publicly and privately to the leadership of the Chicago Police Department, this is unacceptable. As it has been for several years, crime remains my number one priority. I have repeatedly called for more police presence in Lakeview and I find it unacceptable that our 19th Police District staffing numbers are so low.

"During the past few months, my office has held public safety meetings with all the Lakeview chambers of commerce and several community groups. I will continue to fight for funding for the Police Department, enhanced technology resources, as well as mental health and housing programs. Going forward I will continue collaborating closely with the hardworking 19th District Police and I will provide updates to the community as they are made available to my office.

"Residents who have any information on these shootings should reach out to the Bureau of Detectives - Area 3 at (312) 744-8263. Anonymous tips can be sent to www.cpdtip.com.

"I would like to express my deepest condolences to the Beltran family. I know Mr. Beltran will be missed by the entire Lakeview community. The Beltran Family and the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce are collecting donations for his widow and two children."


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