Saturday, September 5, 2009

Uptown "Gang Riot" Was Actually Minor Shooting, Possible Robbery

The Sept. 1 "gang fight" that we wrote about recently, at W. Wilson and N. Broadway in Uptown, was actually not a gang fight, and certainly no riot. It was a minor shooting incident that might have been an attempted robbery. It only involved two or three people. One of them, a man whose foot was shot, was recently released from prison. This story has a lot of loose ends that still need to be tied up. Shot in the foot (Good guy? Or bad guy?) At 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, a man stepped out of the Wilson Broadway Currency Exchange‎, 4599 N. Broadway and became involved in a fight. During the brief scuffle, a shot rang out, and the man was left with a bullet wound to one of his feet. It is not certain whether the fight was an attempted robbery, or even if the gunshot victim was the "good guy" or the "bad guy" in the incident. It is unclear who was in posession of the gun at the outset of the altercation. This is according to several well-informed sources who spoke to Chicago News Bench on Friday, Sept. 4. Those sources, trusted highly, get their information directly from police personnel. There is speculation by the police, sources tell us, that the bullet to the foot may have been accidentally self-inflicted. As the man walked out of the currency exchange, we are told, another person approached him. The police showed up en masse, blocked the intersection, asked questions, looked around, and then "most of the police" drove north at high speed on Broadway after only a few minutes at the currency exchange. The only reason that "most of the police" at the shooting scene would have sped off northward, as far as we or our sources can figure, is that they were attempting to apprehend the other person - or, perhaps, persons - involved in the altercation. Sources tell us that there is some confusion as to whether the man whose foot was shot in the was actually the victim or the would-be robber. According to our two individual sources, the gunshot victim was allegedly released from prison only "a few weeks ago." In retrospect, it's easy to understand how people observing the situation might have mistaken it for a gang fight. The currency exchange corner, just steps north of Ald. Shiller's Ward Office, usually has a lot of pedestrian traffic. In the event of a shooting, it could be expected that a crowd might quickly form. Someone might scream. Yelling would be heard. The police scream in, sirens and lights on, blocking the intersection. For a passerby to assume that the event is just another of the several-monthly gang fights that Uptown has come to expect is understandable indeed. Chicago News Bench reported what the CAPS meeting attendee told us. In our never-ending search for fact and truth, however, we kept looking into the story. Something bothered us: If a big gang fight had really happened on Sept. 1st, we probably would have gotten word of it before Sept. 3. (At least, we would hope we would have.) We're glad we stayed on the story. It not only opens up a new story, the end of which we haven't yet heard, it also gave us the opportunity to set the record straight. We will continue to keep our ears to the ground. RELATED: Man shot in the foot in Uptown - chicagocontent Post Script How did a minor shooting incident get mistaken for a large gang fight? One reason: The large police response to the incident at the currency exchange. We are told that about 10 police cars blocked the intersection. Another reason: Some people down in Uptown seem to be so upset by having more than their fair share of gang battles that even a relatively small scuffle can generate reports and rumors of rumbles and riots. Another reason: Some local bloggers substitute hearsay via frantic comments from their readers for actual reporting. Rather than actually go to a crime scene or other news event themselves, those bloggers all too often rely on rumor, innuendo, conjecture, speculation, uninformed screeds and often-irrelevant ramblings for "information" about what is happening in their own backyard, of which they profess to have expert knowledge, which often leads to self-reinforcing misinformation. Such is the danger of using a comments section as your primary source of news. Cool Hats & Shirts for Cool Conservatives Leave a Comment... Chicago News Bench RSS Feed We're on Twitter...