Woman fatally shot by masked gunman in Ravenswood Manor; shooting was not random, police say

Stephanie Brooks was shot in the chest as she tried to close the door, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

SHARE Woman fatally shot by masked gunman in Ravenswood Manor; shooting was not random, police say
Stephanie Brooks was fatally shot in this apartment building in the 4400 block of North Francisco Avenue on Monday night.

Stephanie Brooks was fatally shot in this apartment building in the 4400 block of North Francisco Avenue on Monday night.

Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

A 27-year-old mother of three was fatally shot while trying to fend off a masked gunman from entering an apartment in Ravenswood Manor Monday night.

Authorities identified the woman as Stephanie Brooks and said the attack — which took place inside a four-story apartment building in the 4400 block of North Francisco Avenue — was not random.

However, it was unclear if the gunman was targeting Brooks or someone else who was inside the apartment.

The shooting took place two blocks from the home of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Brooks and a friend heard a knock at the apartment door about 9:32 p.m., police said.

A gunman wearing a ski mask and dressed in black clothes tried to force his way inside when they answered the door.

Brooks was shot in the chest as she tried to close the door, officials said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believe the shooting may be tied to a Feb. 2 shooting that wounded a firefighter who was caught in crossfire while responding to a blaze in the 3300 block of West Wilson Avenue at about 1 a.m.

“We believe this victim has a connection with an individual who was involved in the shooting of the fireman and are exploring whether this shooting might have been retaliation,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Tuesday.

Guglielmi feared another round of violent retribution.

“We do expect potential gang retaliation,” he said.

“While the victim herself may not have formal gang associations, we’re looking at connections of people she was close with.”

Brooks’ cousin, Darnell Robertson, saidjudging from the bullet holes in the front door, it appears the gunman fired shots through the door.

Brooks leaves behind 1-year-old twins — a boy and a girl — and a 7-year-old daughter, Robertson said.

“I don’t know what I’m going to tell these kids,” Robertson said.

Brooks had been staying with a family friend who lived in the apartment but had been excited about moving this week to a different apartment, Robertson said.

Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd) planned to meet with Mayor Lori Lightfoot Tuesday evening to discuss allocating city funds to help pay for violence interrupters to help address an uptick in shootings in herward in recent months.

The owner of the building where the shooting occurred Monday also owns an apartment building that was tied to the shooting in which the firefighter was wounded in a leg.

Rodriguez-Sanchez said she met with the owner, Gary R. Carlson, to make sure he’s taking measures to secure his properties.

“He hadn’t been responsive in the past ... We insisted he give us his cellphone,” shesaid,adding that city inspectors will be following up to ensure compliance.

Efforts to reach Carlson were unsuccessful.

Carlson was featured in a 2016 Chicago Sun-Times story about landlords who had the most units in the Chicago Housing Authority voucher program.

No one was in custody Tuesday as Area North detectives conducted a homicide investigation.

“I just want to find out who did this to my cousin and I want justice,” Robertson said.

“She [Brooks] was the type of person who was hilarious and would cheer you up if you were having a bad day. And she lived for her kids, so they could come up the correct way,” he said.

Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.

The Latest
Protesters took turns sitting with a replica of the “Statue of Peace” — or “Sonyeosang” in Korean — an artwork installed in 2011 outside the the Embassy of Japan in Seoul, South Korea, as a monument to the women.
The Cubs and Reds will star in Thursday’s Field of Dreams Game sequel.
Pritzker also called on more Republicans to speak out against the comments. “Why can’t Republicans just stand up and say what Darren Bailey said was wrong?” Pritzker asked. “Why can’t they do that?”
After a heated community meeting, neighborhood groups are calling for artists to drop out of the weekend music festival as they continue to push for changes to how the West Side park is used.
Poles should make his decision and make a move by the end of the weekend, allowing the Bears to re-launch free of drama Monday.