Monday, May 28, 2012
UChicago Crime Report: Shooting at 54th and Hyde Park Blvd.
25-year old man shot in the head at 2:30 AM while walking near the intersection of Hyde Park Boulevard and 54th Street. That's the nice residential street that the #6 Bus zooms down on its way from the Museum to Lakeshore Drive.
Chicago Tribune Sunday night story:
Bad Chicago weekend for shootings. 7 or 8 shot on Friday, 26 shot on Saturday, and another 9 shot last night. Of the 40+ shootings this weekend, however, only 3 or 4 proved fatal. Good news for the victims of these attacks. Also, good news for the public image of the CPD; aggravated battery numbers get buried in statistical reports for me to dig up. Murder numbers tend to get plastered all over newspaper front pages. Just because it might look like business as usual by the murder rate, don't get fooled. It's going to be a long summer.
To UChicago community members:
This kind of crime should be very alarming. The UCPD should definitely send out an alert when an incident like this happens. A single shooting, even if ostensibly isolated, can precipitate retaliatory shootings in the area. The gunmen might also still be around the block or neighborhood (a good chance, given that arrests in shootings are easily at sub 20%). Shootings also can beget other shootings, especially if in the nebulous "gang-related" category. While UChicago students are extremely unlikely to be targeted by gang-related shootings, bullets are fairly indiscriminate, especially given the laughable accuracy of their shooters.
Even if this was a personal altercation between two pissed off parties, UChicago community members still need to know about it. Angry, revenge-seeking individuals are no more accurate than most other Chicago criminals, and anyone living around there could be at risk from stray gunfire.
There is a smaller issue of safety at stake here. Stay aware. Don't be outside at 2:30 AM. If you absolutely must be outside at that hour, keep hyper-vigilant and watch for any suspicious cars or people.
There is also the larger issue of UCPD communication. An incident report will (hopefully) get filed on Tuesday. But the Department should have issued a public warning at the time to alert individuals who might be at risk. 2:30 AM is a prime party-returning hour on campus, and that is an activity that many UChicago students partake in. Students and community members need to know about the realities of crime in their area. Most of the time, that means UChicago students should chill out and realize that it is pretty darn safe around here. But when it is actually dangerous, they need to know that too.