2 wounded by gunfire near Little Village grade school where classes had just gotten out

No students at Finkl Academy were injured, but classes had ended 15 minutes earlier and many students were still around and ran in a panic for cover, witnesses said.

SHARE 2 wounded by gunfire near Little Village grade school where classes had just gotten out
Chicago police work the scene where two people were shot near a grade school in Little Village on Tuesday afternoon.

Chicago police work the scene where two people were shot near a grade school in Little Village on Tuesday afternoon.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere | Sun-Times

Two people were wounded by gunfire across the street from an elementary school in Little Village where classes had just gotten out Tuesday afternoon.

No students at Finkl Academy were injured, but classes had ended 15 minutes earlier and many students were standing around the school building in the 2300 block of South Western Avenue.

“It’s just sad that you have to be thinking — after school, at such a young age — what should I do once they start shooting?” said a teacher who did not want to be named.

The shooting happened just after 3 p.m. A 17-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the hand and was in fair condition at Mount Sinai Hospital, police said. A second victim, a 23-year-old man, went to the same hospital in fair condition with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Witnesses told officers someone opened fire from a blue Honda.

At the scene, officers placed at least seven evidence markers on the street in front of Donald’s Famous Hot Dogs, directly across from the school.

The teacher was about to drive away when two long rounds of gunfire went off and students ran in a panic.

“A lot of the kids were saying they feel like this is going to be a bad summer, and it's just sad because the kids look forward to summer,” the teacher said.

Jesse Huerta, the violence intervention manager at Enlace Chicago, said the shooting happened at a gas station near the school and stemmed from a “historical beef” between entrenched gangs in Little Village, sending “a good amount of kids” running for cover.

“Some of our Safe Passage team pulled the young ones into hiding in some of the stores that are there,” Huerta said, referring to members of his staff tasked with helping kids get home from school safely.

One of the victims has been involved with his organization, which specializes in street outreach work but also offers legal aid, mental health services and other programming to residents of the largely Hispanic community, Huerta said.

Members of his team quickly responded to the hospital to meet with the teenager’s family, he said.

Huerta said his group works to set up “safe spaces” in Little Village, but he complained that violence prevention workers are stretched particularly thin in the area — something Chicago Police Supt. David Brown recently acknowledged while discussing surging violence in the community.

“CPD is not able to control it and they’ve got thousands and thousands of officers,” Huerta said. “We’ve got 16 people in Little Village working on the ground.”

The Latest
The Blackhawks welcome the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft into the fold this fall. We provide details on his play, his progress and his promise in Chicago throughout the days leading up to his Oct. 10 debut.
Bedard set up both Hawks goals in a 2-1 overtime win Thursday and more than held his own against the Blues’ top players. But he said he has “a lot better than that” coming soon.
Officers found the man, 20, on a sidewalk in the 4000 block of West 18th Street with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Little Amal is making her way across America to inspire hope and draw attention to the plight of many refugees around the world, half of whom are children.