2 teens shot, 1 fatally, in South Loop; 9 teens charged in connection to large gathering, police say

ByCate Cauguiran and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, March 4, 2024
Teens charged in relation to large South Loop gathering near shooting
A Chicago shooting Saturday left 17-year-old Jeremy Smith dead and another teen injured in the South Loop near Roosevelt and Canal, authorities said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A teenager has died after being shot in the parking lot of a bank Saturday night in Downtown Chicago, police said.

The shooting happened in the 500 block of West Roosevelt Road near Canal Street, in the South Loop, authorities said.

Witnesses told ABC7 a large crowd of hundreds of young people were gathered in the area when the shooting happened. Witnesses also said hours before the crowds of young people grew, there was already a significant police presence in the area.

When officers responded to the shooting, they found two people shot. Both were taken to Stroger Hospital and were initially reported to be in critical condition.

A 17-year-old boy died at the hospital from his injuries. He was later identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as 17-year-old Jeremy Smith.

SEE ALSO: 2 officers injured after shots fired at squad car, 1 teen shot in Humboldt Park: CPD

Police said a 15-year-old boy was also shot in the leg. At last check he was in fair condition.

Criminal charges have been filed against at least nine teens who attended a large gathering where the shooting happened. No charges have yet been filed related to the shooting, police said.

The teens face various misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct, breach of peace, reckless conduct and assault. Three curfew violations were also issued.

Four male juveniles, a 14-year-old, 16-year-old and two 17-year-olds, were charged with misdemeanors. Four female juveniles, two 16-year-olds and two 17-year-olds, were also charged. An 18-year-old woman was charged with resisting and obstruction.

An employee at the nearby White Palace Grill, Patrick Cahill, who was working at the time of the shooting said businesses were warned by police about the large gathering.

"Maybe about 500... the Walgreens parking was filled with young people, anywhere from late teens to mid-20s," Cahill said. "They were traveling around the block. The police told us to lock the doors, so we did."

An anonymous woman spoke to ABC7 and recalled what went through her mind after she heard multiple shots fired as she was outside.

"'I need to get out the way. I need to go ahead and get out of the way, get away from all that,'" she said. "But at the same time, it's not like you can get out the way, because how many people that it was."

A visible police presence could be seen in the area on Sunday night.

The 28th Ward Alderman, Jason Ervin, told ABC7 police were tipped off about Saturday night's gathering from social media, but no one could anticipate how large the crowd got nor the deadly violence that ensued.

"We have to get people to understand and respect life," Ervin said. "To take someone's life is something... it's a major thing and it's unfortunate that that happened."

City leaders are now working to find solutions to prevent large violent gatherings that have repeatedly taken place in Downtown Chicago.

"We definitely need to have necessary enforcement, and we also have to have activities for young people to do in their respective communities so they don't feel the need to come Downtown to do those types of things," Ervin said.

Ervin now looks ahead to what is needed to help stop this type of violence.

"I think there are a lot of resources in play that will help people to do that as we go into these summer months... begin to think about more around our anti-violence and also some of our healing initiatives to help people deal with the trauma that they face in life," Ervin said.

One person is in custody for the shooting and Chicago police recovered a gun at the scene.

It was not known if there were any other injuries or if any suspects have been identified.

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