Man wounded in shooting at Montrose Beach parking lot, Chicago police say

Stephanie Wade Image
Monday, May 20, 2024
Montrose Beach shooting leaves 1 wounded, CPD says
The shooting at a popular lakefront spot comes as the beach opens for the season next weekend.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A 38-year-old man was wounded in a shooting near Montrose Beach Sunday night, Chicago police said.

The shooting came amid a violent weekend, with at least 45 people shot, one fatally. just days before the city officially opens the beaches for Memorial Day weekend.

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Police said reports of multiple fights at the beach Sunday evening escalated to gunfire.

Police said the victim was standing in the beach parking lot in the 4400-block of North Simonds Drive at about 8:25 p.m. when someone began firing shots in his direction from a silver sedan.

He was shot three times and taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

A suspect crashed into another vehicle while trying to leave the scene, police said. Officers placed him into custody and said a second suspect got away, police said.

"All of a sudden, I see about a half a dozen or more squad cars and I knew something was going on," witness Vincent Rizzo said.

Rizzo was on his boat last night at Montrose Harbor when the shooting happened nearby.

"I've had about half a dozen texts from friends, are you OK? Are you OK? And we're trying to relax in a peaceful environment in the parks of Chicago," Rizzo said.

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This comes as the city prepares to open beaches for the holiday weekend.

Swim hours run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, starting this Friday.

The city said they'll issue citywide deployments for Memorial Day weekend to ensure public safety and security.

The Office of Emergency Management activated its Emergency Operations Center over the weekend for enhanced coordination between Police, Fire, and other safety agencies.

"I bet you 50,000 cars go through this place on a day like yesterday," Rizzo said. "And why should 50,000 people be afraid of a bad situation happening? And they're only here for one thing: enjoy the parks, enjoy the lake, enjoy your family and friends."

CPD said it will have an increased presence across the city and here on the lakefront this summer to maintain public safety for large-scale events or gatherings.

In a statement, the Chicago Park District said:

"The safety of our park patrons and staff is paramount. As the Park District prepares for the opening of beaches at the end of the week and increased activity along the lakefront, we have various safeguards in place to ensure that our staff are trained and ready to prevent and respond to any issues that may arise. Park District Security deploys its designated lakefront beach mobile unit, made up of six prominently marked vehicles, to patrol the lakefront daily during beach hours of operations daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., starting Friday, May 24 through Labor Day, September 2. Park District Security Officers will wear easily identifiable, fluorescent yellow vests while on duty and are available to address any issues or concerns. Chicago Park District Security also works closely with the Chicago Police to address any issues and create a safe and enjoyable beach experience for visitors.

"For public's safety, it is important that individuals only enter the water and swim when lifeguards are on duty, starting Friday, May 24 to Monday, September 2 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. In addition, the public should only enter the water in areas approved for swimming and where lifeguards are present along the 22 designated beaches starting on Friday, May 24 at 11 a.m. Our lifeguard corps is equipped with lifesaving skills, and effectively trained to respond to waterfront emergencies while on duty. Signage is posted along the lakefront to notify the public of "No Swimming" or "No Diving" areas, and red flags are currently posted at every beach to alert the public that beaches remain closed for the season."