Four wounded when gunmen open fire on SUV in Loop — day after mayor decries growing gun violence downtown

A day after Chicago’s mayor decried growing gun violence downtown, four people were wounded when two gunmen opened fire on an SUV stopped at a light in the Loop.

The blue Dodge Durango was stopped in the 400 block of South Wells Street when the gunmen fired from a sidewalk around 1:35 a.m., according to police.

A woman, 26, who was crossing the street was hit in the left leg and was taken in fair condition to Stroger Hospital.

Three people in the Durango were dropped off at Stroger: A 38-year-old man shot in the back and listed in critical condition; a 31-year-old woman shot in the back and legs and also listed in critical condition; and a 28-year-old woman shot in the left leg and listed in fair condition.

Police released no other details and reported no one in custody.

The shooting follows several downtown attacks over the weekend. Two people were hit by gunfire in an alley in the Chicago Theater District Sunday, including a stagehand for a musical that was later canceled for the evening. A teen fatally shot inside a Streeterville hotel, and a woman was killed outside 10 Bowling Lounge in River North.

Shooting have sharply risen in the Central and Near North police districts covering the Loop and River North. The districts have seen 23 homicide and shooting victims through April 30 of this year. That’s a 64% jump compared to the same time period in 2021, according to a Sun-Times analysis of police data.

The area had already seen a big rise in shooting and homicide victims over the past couple years. In 2021, there were 139 homicide and shooting victims, a 60% increase over the 87 victims in 2020 and a 167 % increase over the 52 in those districts in 2019.

The spike in the heart of the city comes as police announced that shootings trended downward by 16% across the city so far this year — meaning the downtown area continues to head in the wrong direction.

After the new numbers were released Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said city officials need to “step up our efforts downtown.”

“Particularly distressing is, again, the number of young people that seemingly are involved in acts of violence,” Lightfoot said at a news conference. “It’s clearly not acceptable and that’s why we’ve got to keep doing, I think, the things that we know are working.”

Police Supt. David Brown said his department is increasing patrols in the downtown area — as it is in other parts of the city.

“We are not going to be a part of treating one neighborhood differently than another based on whatever reasons,” Brown said. “All of these neighborhoods are important to us as the police department. We are adding resources not only to the downtown — we are adding to the downtown — but the CTA needs more resources and so does areas on the South Side and areas on the West Side.”

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