Possible suspect identified, victims recovering after shooting wounds 2 in west Evanston

Marshall Cohen

Evanston Police on Monday identified a man wanted in connection with the west Evanston shooting that wounded two Sunday, EPD spokesman Cmdr. Jay Parrott said.

Police are trying to locate the man, an individual “who frequents Evanston” and has had prior run-ins with police, Parrott said. His name won’t be released until he is arrested and charged with a crime.

Detectives also determined the incident was not a random act and that the alleged shooter knew the two victims, according to an EPD news release. The victims were faring well Monday after receiving emergency medical treatment, Parrott said.

The two men, ages 20 and 21, were transported to Evanston Hospital after the shooting that occurred around 7:15 p.m. in the 1800 block of Lyons Street. The location of the shooting was just one mile west of the Northwestern campus.

There was a “distinct possibility” the incident was gang-related, Police Chief Richard Eddington told The Daily on Sunday.

Parrott confirmed Monday the two victims have prior gang contacts, but reiterated the shooting itself may not have been motivated by a gang-related issue.

The first victim, a 20-year-old Evanston resident, was found on Lyons Street with a bullet wound in his torso, Eddington said. He underwent emergency surgery, was admitted to the hospital and is currently listed in fair condition, Parrott said.

“That’s an extremely serious place to be hit by gunfire and for him to go into surgery right away, that causes me a great deal of concern,” Eddington said Sunday night.

Family identified the 20-year-old victim as Wesley Woodson Jr. His father, Wesley Woodson Sr., told The Daily he was relieved his son survived the late-night surgery.

“I got mixed emotions about everything that has happened,” Woodson said. “The main one now is just joy that he is with us.”

The bullet never exited the younger Woodson’s body, and doctors were able to remove it during surgery, the elder Woodson said. His son regained consciousness and was able to speak Monday.

“It was more mumbling than talking,” the elder Woodson added. “It seems like the bullet missed any main organs, and I believe that he’s going to be fine.”

Tiffany Woodson, 18, said she was happy her brother is alive and described him as an energetic young man who “goes to the wild a lot, exercises and hangs out.”

The second victim, a 21-year-old Des Plaines resident, ran a “considerable distance” after getting shot and was found in the 1600 block of Dodge Avenue, Eddington said. He was shot in the knee and is currently in good condition, Parrott said.

He apparently stumbled to the home of Dominique Austin, 23, who lives at the corner of Church Street and Dodge Avenue. She said the second victim was “moving fast” as he ran into her house around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“He was panicking,” Austin said. “He was about to start hyperventilating because he was panicking.”

Austin said the victim wanted to get up, but she and her uncle insisted he lie down. They then called an ambulance, she said, which arrived quickly and took the victim.

No weapons were recovered at the crime scene, Parrott said. The investigation is ongoing.

Jia You contributed reporting.

[email protected]