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Shooting Leaves One Dead and Several Injured in Austin Neighborhood of Chicago Amid Unanswered Calls for Help

Shooting Leaves One Dead and Several Injured in Austin Neighborhood (1)

Several residents of the Austin neighborhood of Chicago were upset that their appeals to break up a huge gathering before to an early morning shooting on Sunday, which left seven people wounded and one dead, went unanswered.

Chicago police say that at around 1:00 AM, a group of people were congregating outside in the 4800 block of West Iowa Street when a dispute ensued and gunfire erupted from unknown assailants. A 25-year-old lady was discovered by police with several gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. She was taken there, but she was pronounced dead upon arrival.

There were six more victims of gunfire. A total of five were sent to hospitals in stable condition, while one was taken there in serious condition, according to the police. Michelle Barnes said she had a hunch something was up when she heard a large group of people partying loudly in a vacant area a few blocks away from her home in the hours before the shooting.

She reported that on Sunday afternoon, cars packed the street and the alleyway. According to Barnes, she reported the unruly gathering to the police three times between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. She also said that one police car arrived, but that there was no substantial response before gunfire erupted.

“I’m frustrated with the police. I’m frustrated with the alderman. I’m frustrated with everybody. Because it’s ridiculous,” Barnes said. “When you call, they don’t come like there’s a problem.” On Sunday, police revealed that the shooting happened after a memorial service for a man who had died in a vehicle crash four years before.

Tea candles, now burnt and toppled, were still on the pavement near the gunshot site on Sunday afternoon. A police spokeswoman stated the little information they had about the gathering before the shooting had been released in a statement and at an early morning news conference.

The deserted property filled with overgrown vegetation bore the scars of the brutal shooting. There were bullet holes in the trunk and rear passenger window of a black SUV that was parked nearby. Some of the yellow police tape was still there. A bleeding garment lay on the sidewalk next to a pile of purple latex gloves, which are typically used by paramedics.

Barnes, who is 56 years old, has said that she is planning on leaving her current residence. Leaving the house she’s known her whole life and that her parents own would be a huge upheaval for her. As she looked around her neighborhood, she pondered aloud what it would take to ensure the peace there.

We can’t even live in peace,” she lamented. Larell Steel, Barnes’ next-door neighbor, told the police that she, along with other neighbors, had called 911 multiple times before the shooting. Steel told the other woman as they sat on their porches on a Sunday, “Everybody on this block called them to get them kids.” It would have been possible to avoid this.

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If they had just come and broken them youngsters apart, none of this would have happened. Steel claims that the majority of the residents of the block’s single-family homes are in their senior years.

She noted a boisterous gathering on a neighboring corner in the summer of 2017 and a brief session of drug trafficking on an open side lot across the street from where the shooting occurred, so while the shooting itself was unexpected, the emergence of disturbance on the normally calm neighborhood in recent months was not.

Steel said that she had been sleeping through the start of the gathering but had been alerted to the potential threat by a phone call from her sister. She said she heard dozens of gunshots and immediately contacted the police.

On Sunday morning, when Steel first emerged from her house, she claims to have seen evidence technicians placing dozens of yellow markers down the street. Steel commented that she wished parents would have prevented their children from joining the ultimately violent gathering, as the majority of the young people present appeared to have traveled from outside the community.

“They just come, they see a nice flat block and they take over, like we can’t do nothing about it. And apparently we can’t do nothing about it, because we call the people and we’re not getting no help,” Steel said. Carl Raynor, who lived on the opposite side of West Iowa Street, was also lounging on his porch that day.

He claims he was awakened by gunfire the night before, but dismissed it as firecrackers until friends and family checked on him the following morning. He has been homeless on and off since 1976, but he recently expressed a desire to leave the area. In May of 2022, Raynor, then 57 years old, claims he was shot in the back while trying to stop the theft of his sister’s car’s catalytic converter.

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He observed that recent years made it feel like violence was more difficult to avoid. “It’s everywhere,” Raynor declared. There’s only so much the police can do. “Once it’s one of your kids or grandkids, you’re going to want help, so people need to speak up and say something about it.

According to officials, a 17-year-old girl was the youngest of those injured. She was shot in the leg. She was in stable condition during transit to West Suburban Medical Center. All four people taken to Stroger Hospital were in their twenties; three men and one woman.

According to police, a 29-year-old male was wounded in the chest and arm and taken in serious condition to Stroger Hospital. The shooting is currently being looked into by Area 4 detectives. According to the police, nobody is being held.

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