Category Archives: crime

Mayoral Candidates Condemn New Zealand Shooting

Both Chicago mayoral candidates condemned Friday’s terrorist murders at a mosque in New Zealand.

“I was shocked and saddened to hear about the shooting in New Zealand, and the victims and their families are in my thoughts today,” Preckwinkle said in a statement. “I stand with the Muslim community. Our places of worship should be sacred and safe.”

“I am horrified and deeply saddened by the acts of terror at New Zealand mosques,” said Lightfoot. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We’ve got to rise together—as a city, as a country, and all across the world—to condemn white supremacy and Islamophobia. We’ve got to build a world where everyone is safe, and where everyone can worship in peace and community.”

Abduction and Assault in Rogers Park

Chicago police issued a Community Alert after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted near the 6600 block of N. Clark Wednesday evening.

According to police, the 31-year-old woman was walking southbound on Clark from North Shore Ave. when the male offender “approached her from behind, grabbed her and put his hand over her face, covering her nose and mouth.”

Police said the offender’s hand “was wet and smelled similar to alcohol,” and that the offender “pulled the woman backwards and she lost consciousness.” The alert said the victim “awoke later in an unknown building, after being sexually assaulted,” and that the “offender fled in an unknown direction.

Police did not have a detailed description of the offender.

Anyone who might have information is urged to call 24th District detectives at 312-744-8261.



Six Injured in West Rogers Park Ambulance Crash

Six people, including two Chicago Fire Department paramedics and a police officer, were injured early Tuesday morning when a car allegedly ran a stop sign and collided with an ambulance.

The ambulance, which was transporting a patient and had its emergency lights activated, was headed south on Richmond when a sport utility vehicle, heading west on Granville, failed to stop, according to Chicago Police news affairs.

The driver of the ambulance was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, with injuries described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “serious.” A paramedic and a police officer, who were in the back of the ambulance, were described as suffering from non-life-threatening injuries, according to Chicago police. The patient who was being transported was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital with injuries described as “serious,” police said.

The driver and passenger of the SUV were also transported to the Illinois Masonic Hospital with non-life threatening injuries at the time of the incident, police said.

The driver of the SUV, whose name had not yet been released Tuesday afternoon, was cited for, among other things, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving an uninsured motor vehicle, and failure to obey a stop sign, Chicago police said.

The accident is still under investigation, police said.


West Rogers Park SWAT Situation Ends Peacefully

A man is in custody after barricading himself in a building in the 6400 block of N. Ridge for more than three hours Tuesday.

The incident ended peacefully and without injury, according to Chicago Police Spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.

A SWAT team responded, and some roads were closed, police said. Charges against the man are pending.

$12K Reward for Information on Grad Student’s Murder

Northwestern University grad student Shane Columbo’s three murderers remain at-large nearly six months after killing Columbo in gang crossfire. And there is now a $12,000 reward for anyone with information regarding the murder.  

Columbo’s mother, Tonya Columbo, and community activist Andrew Holmes, have contributed $1,000 each to add to the $10,000 anonymous donation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 800-883-5587.

For the full story visit Block Club Chicago.

Fighting Hate With Love, Rogers Park Jewish Community Honors Eliyahu Moscowitz

The Jewish community in Rogers Park gathered to “eradicate hate with love” in remembrance of recent shooting victim Eliyahu Moscowitz, remembering the joy he brought to those he met.

More than 200 residents endured the cold Monday evening to celebrate the second day of Hanukkah at Loyola Park. They lit the Menorah, sang, danced, and offered memories of Moscowitz, who was active and well-known in the Jewish community. He was the second of two people shot and killed earlier this year by a masked gunman who has yet to be caught.

“We are showing proudly and strongly that his light will continue to shine, and will not be extinguished,” said Rabbi Yoel Wolf, a leader of the Chabads of East Rogers Park and Loyola University, and one of Moscowitz’ oldest friends.

The theme of the event light overcoming darkness.

Rabbi Dovid Kotlersky, leader of the Chabad of East Lakeview and mentor to Moscowitz, remembered him for being loving, kind, and caring to everyone—always wearing a smile and a positive energy about him.

Moscowitz’ father, Rabbi Mendel Moscowitz, said his son was kind to everyone he met and always wanted to help others.

“It is the essence of Jewishness, that when there is darkness, we have light,” the elder Moscowitz said.

Man Shot and Killed Near Howard El; Police Say No Connection to Unsolved RP Murders

A man was shot and killed in Rogers Park late Thursday night, according to police. But police say there’s no connection to the two unsolved homicides that shocked the neighborhood in the early fall.

The 41-year-old man was standing on the sidewalk in the 1600 block of West Howard Street around 11:13 p.m. Nov. 29 when he was shot in the back, Chicago police said.

He was taken to Presence Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston where he was pronounced dead.

No one is in custody and Area North detectives are investigating, police said.

Police said it’s unclear if the shooter was on foot or in a car, but also said the victim was known to police.

Police also said the murder isn’t related to the two unsolved Rogers Park homicides that were perpetrated back-to-back in the early fall.

“If a crime is ever determined by detectives to be part of a pattern they will release a community alert and it will be distributed to the community immediately,” a Chicago police spokesperson told the RogersEdge Reporter in an email statement.

Douglass Watts, 73, was walking his dog in the morning on Sept. 30 when he was shot and killed by an offender wearing dark clothing and a face covering. The next night, Oct. 1, 24-year-old Eliyahu Moscowitz was shot and killed on a lakefront trail near Loyola Beach by the same man.

The shooter for those homicides is still at large. Police have saturated Rogers Park and the reward for information leading to his arrest has reached $150,000 — the largest for any murder investigation in Chicago history, according to CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson.


Historic Reward – $150,000 – Now Offered in Rogers Park Killings

Police are hoping a significant increase in the cash reward will help crack the investigation into two Rogers Park murders that rocked the neighborhood five weeks ago.

Community leaders are now offering $150,000 – the largest privately-offered reward in Chicago history – for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said he hopes the money will be enough to get someone who knows the killer to come forward.

“We’re hopeful that this significant reward increase will encourage individuals with direct knowledge of and interaction with the suspect to come forward,” Johnson said at a press conference Thursday at Loyola Park. “Someone out there listening or watching right now knows who this person is, whether it be an acquaintance, friend, loved one or relative.”

Douglas Watts, 73, was killed at about 10 a.m. Sept. 30, while he was walking his dog near his home in the 1400 block of West Sherwin. Eliyahou Moscowitz, 24, was killed in the same manner – by a masked gunman shooting at point blank range – 36 hours later.

When ballistics tests showed that both victims were killed with a bullet from the same gun, and that the victims had not connection to each other, the case quickly became something more than a typical homicide investigation.

A community meeting on the case drew hundreds of residents, with many saying they were afraid to walk alone in the neighborhood. Johnson Tuesday said residents should still use caution, urging people to walk their dogs in groups.

Initially police deployed 40 detectives to the case. Johnson acknowledged that that number has dropped. But he said the department continues to have “significant resources” on the case.

Police have released photographs of the person they believe carried out the murders, taken from surveillance video. Although his face is covered, police have point out that he has a distinctive gait, with his feet pointed out.

Johnson said the $150,000 reward, increased from $23,000, is historic.

“This increase marks the highest reward raised exclusively by the community for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a homicide suspect within the city of Chicago,” Johnson said.

Levi Staal, a West Rogers Park community leader, said the money came from several sources, including the Rogers Park Builders Group, the Jewish Federation of Metro Chicago, community activist Raul Montes Jr., Crime Stoppers of Cook County, and an anonymous donor.

“This is the largest reward offered in the city’s history,” Staal said. “It stands as a great example of how we can work together as a community.”

Image-1Johnson praised community help, which he said has produced more than 430 leads in the case. He said more help is needed.

“Somebody out there knows who this guy is. They do,” Johnson said. “Either he bragged to someone. Someone saw that video and recognized him. We just need those individuals out there to come forward and help us.”

Johnson was asked if he feared that the only we the killer will be caught is if he strikes again.

“That’s always a concern. I hope it doesn’t rise to that level. But we have leads that we’re still looking at. But we need additional help from the public,” he said.


Guilty Verdict in 2014 Devon Ave. Shooting of Rogers Park Man

A man was convicted for the murder of Rogers Park resident Wil Lewis, who happened to be on Devon Avenue in July 2014 when he was caught in a gang-shooting crossfire.

A Cook County jury convicted Eric Vaughn, 35, of first degree murder and attempted first degree murder Nov. 6, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. In an online statement about the conviction, 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore, who witnessed the shooting, said Vaughn is an Uptown native.

“I happened to be on Devon at the time of the shooting and witnessed the entire incident unfold. It continues to haunt me,” Moore said in the statement.

Wil Lewis was shot on Devon Avenue while standing at a bus stop. The bullet was believed to be meant for a different target and it was a gang-related shooting, Moore said.

Officials from the Cook County State’s Attorney declined to comment on the case other than to confirm the guilty verdict, citing post-trial litigation still ongoing.

According to Moore, Vaughn was driving with two young men, one 15 and the other 17, when they saw a rival gang member. Vaughn handed the 15-year-old a gun and ordered him to shoot the rival, but he accidentally struck Lewis, Moore said. Eyewitness accounts of the shooting as well as the car Vaughn was driving led to Vaughn’s arrest two hours after the shooting. The other two people in the car were found in Wisconsin a few weeks later, Moore said.

“The jury deliberated for about two hours before returning their verdict against Vaughn,” Moore said in his statement. “Coincidentally, the assistant state’s attorney who successfully prosecuted the case is a Rogers Park resident, Mike Hogan, who lives just a few blocks from the site of the shooting.”

Moore added that “community residents played an essential role in the apprehension of the individuals responsible for Wil Lewis’ death. Without their willingness to provide authorities with information, including descriptions of the assailants and their vehicle, the police could not have made the arrests and prosecutors would not have been able to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Vaughn is due back in court Dec. 6, before Judge William Gamboney at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building at 2650 S. California Ave.

Stronger Police Presence in Rogers Park This Halloween, Moore Says

Ald. Joe Moore said police presence will remain strong in Rogers Park, as detectives continue to look for the gunman who killed two people earlier this month.

“Commander Roberto Nieves … assures me this increased presence will continue through  Halloween, as police undertake measures to ensure a safe holiday for trick-or-treaters and others,” Moore said in a post on his 49th Ward website.

He said police have received more than 400 tips from residents, and a $21,000 reward offered by Cook County Crime Stoppers remains in place. Anyone with information can call 1-800-535-7867, Moore said.

Chicago police, meanwhile, offered Halloween safety tips, which you can read here.

Moore also posted a listed of family-friendly Halloween activities in the neighborhood. You can read that list here.

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