Rogers Park shooting: 19-year-old woman killed, 3 injured in Pottawattomie Park, police say

'She deserves so much better': Witness who rendered aid to shooting victim

ByCate Cauguiran and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, February 26, 2024
Woman killed, 3 injured in North Side park shooting: police
A Chicago shooting in Rogers Park left a woman dead and three others injured on Sunday, police said. It happened at Pottawattomie Park.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Our coverage of this story has moved here.

On Sunday night, one family is grieving the loss of a young woman as the family members of the other three victims sit by their loved ones' hospital bedside.

ABC7 spoke one-on-one with a witness, who tried to help the 19-year-old, she said, staying by her side until the very end.

A beautiful Sunday afternoon at Pottawattomie Park was marred by the sounds of gunshots as children were playing and families were walking in the area.

Frank Rose, who lived in Rogers Park for 30 years, heard the gunfire while walking in the area.

"We were taking a walk through the neighborhood. We actually were north of here, and we heard seven, eight, nine shots in succession, 'Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.' It almost sounded like a nail gun, because people do roofing projects around here, but we've heard shots before, so we assumed they were shots. It was a beautiful day out. I'm not surprised there were people here in the park. I'm very surprised that there was someone looking to cause trouble," Rose said.

Madeline Oklesen was with friends, walking their dogs, when they heard the shots, and then, a cry for help.

"We saw about six people run from the corner, the opposite corner of the Pottawattomie, and then, we heard someone screaming, 'call 911, call 911,'" Oklesen said.

Instead of running away, Madeline and her friends ran toward the cries and found a 19-year-old woman, who had been shot, and immediately tried to give her first aid.

She deserves so much better. I don't even know her, but I was there when she took her last breath
Madeline Oklesen

"At first, we thought the bullet was in her neck, but it was in her heart, and so we just applied pressure," Oklesen said.

Chicago police said the 19-year-old was shot in her chest.

"We kept telling her, you know, 'Stay with us, stay with us. We're here. They're coming,'" Oklesen said. "But she didn't make it."

The shooting happened just after 3:30 p.m.

Police said two suspects walked into the park off North Rogers Avenue and started shooting at two men and two women.

Three of the victims, who all suffered gunshot wounds, are now in good condition at nearby hospitals.

A 22-year-old woman was shot in her foot and transported to Swedish Hospital.

A 20-year-old man, shot in his forehead, was transported to Saint Francis Hospital. Another man, 19 years old, was shot in his hip and taken to the same hospital.

But the 19-year-old woman, didn't survive.

"She deserves so much better. I don't even know her, but I was there when she took her last breath," Oklesen said.

Oklesen, infuriated by the aftermath of the violence that unfolded in front of her, hopes others simply do better.

"We need to take care of each other. We have to, because we're not going to survive if we don't," Oklesen said.

Chicago police said the two suspects ran away northbound on Winchester Avenue. So far, no one is in custody.

But if you have any information that could help police and give these victims' family peace, please contact police.

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