Shooting kills 2 at local park

Greg Lowe

Two men were shot and killed late Monday night after a fight broke out in a park near the Evanston-Chicago border.

Johnny M. Brown was shot by a Chicago Police Department officer after he shot and killed Gabriel Bounds and wounded another man in a park at 1041 W. Jonquil Terrace, near the Gale Community Academy and just south of Howard Street, said Sgt. Robert Cargie, a Chicago Police spokesman.

The shooting was the result of an “altercation that escalated,” Cargie said.

Chicago Police officers saw a large group of teens gathered near the park at about 10:55 p.m. and called for backup to disperse the crowd, Cargie said.

While still in their squad cars, the officers saw Brown, who is in his 20s, walk up to Bounds, also in his 20s, and shoot him, wounding him fatally, Cargie said.

Another man was hit by Brown and wounded, Cargie said. The second man was taken to St. Francis Hospital, 355 Ridge Ave., in Evanston.

After Bounds was shot, police announced their presence at the scene and told Brown to drop his weapon. Brown then raised his gun toward police, firing at least one shot, Cargie said.

Police returned fire and struck Brown, killing him. No officers were injured, Cargie said.

Cargie said he could not confirm reports that the men were members of a gang.

A police review panel decided Tuesday that the officer who shot Brown “was appropriate in his actions under Chicago Police Department policy and his authority under state law,” Cargie said.

Evanston resident Michele Hays, an activist who campaigns against crime, had not heard of the news as of Tuesday night. She said these actions of violence will occur as long as “there are gang members out their with guns.”

But one detail of the shooting did concern Hays, who lives on the 700 block of Dobson Street. The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that the man injured in the shooting was an Evanston bicyclist who was riding past the park.

“I’m very concerned that innocent bystanders were affected,” Hays said. “That is not terribly common in our experience. That’s very frightening.”

Cargie of Chicago Police was not able to confirm Tuesday whether the wounded man was from Evanston or involved in the fight.

The neighborhood along Howard, east of Ridge Avenue, has struggled with gangs and violence, said John Hardy, who has lived on the 1700 block of Brummel Street — seven blocks west of Howard and Ridge — since 1952.

“It was a wonderful neighborhood back then, but 50 years later it has changed enormously,” Hardy said.

Hardy, 57, said he appreciated the work of the police, but that the city needs to hire more officers to keep neighborhoods safe.

“The fact that it happened on the other side of Howard — bullets don’t know,” Hardy said. “They just keep on going.”

The Daily’s Sheila Burt and Jared Goldberg-Leopold contributed to this report.