4 teens wounded in drive-by shooting near Schurz High School on Northwest Side
Police said two of the victims are Chicago Public Schools students and a third is enrolled at an alternative school.
Four teenagers were shot in a drive-by attack outside an ice cream shop across the street from Schurz High School on the Northwest Side Wednesday afternoon, according to Chicago police.
The shooting happened just before dismissal on the third day of classes to start the new school year.
The teens were in the patio area of the shop in the 4300 block of West Addison Street when a dark-colored SUV drove by and someone inside opened fire around 2:45 p.m., according to Deputy Police Chief Roberto Nieves.
A 15-year-old boy was shot in the face and neck and was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago police said. He was listed in critical condition.
The three additional victims were taken to other hospitals in good condition: another 15-year-old boy with a back wound, a 17-year-old boy whose leg was grazed and an 18-year-old man with a leg wound.
Police said two of the victims are Chicago Public Schools students and a third is enrolled at an alternative school. CPS officials wouldn’t comment.
In a letter to parents, Schurz Principal Heidy Moran said the shooting happened shortly before dismissal, and the school went on a brief lockdown before students were let out for the day.
Moran said CPS and CPD would add security around the school this week, and that social workers and crisis counselors would be available for students traumatized by the shooting. She said she planned to host a parent meeting Friday to discuss the incident.
Nieves called the shooting “very upsetting,” and assured parents that the department would concentrate on keeping children safe in or out of school.
“Our No. 1 priority is the safety of our kids, especially our kids that attend school,” Nieves said.
Mily Garcia said she was waiting outside the school to pick up her 16-year-old daughter when she spoke with another parent who saw someone open fire from a passing SUV at a group at La Michoacana ice cream shop, a popular hangout spot for students after school.
Garcia said her daughter wasn’t released until almost 4 p.m.
“Thank god she’s safe,” Garcia said. “I was nervous. I wish she wasn’t in school right now.”
Garcia said La Michoacana has been a sore spot for parents because fights between students break out there regularly. She said she’s spoken to several parents who want the restaurant to be closed.
“They’re going to keep shooting here,” Garcia said. “The best thing for the school would be to remove it.”
An employee inside the restaurant said she was working when she and a coworker got down to the floor after hearing at least four shots ring out. Moments later, the worker — who didn’t want to be identified — heard screams outside.
Two students said they were locked down in their classroom after the shots rang out.
“We thought it was a drill at first,” said one student, who asked not to be named. Five minutes after being told to remain in their classrooms, the students said they realized it was more serious.
Similar shootings outside CPS high schools marred the start of last school year, too.
Jamari Williams, 15, was killed two blocks from Simeon High School in September of 2021, minutes after school had let out for the day in Chatham. His classmate Kentrell McNeal, also 15, was fatally shot hours later in Hyde Park, with their two deaths rocking the school community for months.
The following month, a 14-year-old girl and a security guard were shot as they walked out of Phillips Academy High School in Bronzeville. The student, struck by gunfire in the doorway of her school, underwent surgery and was hospitalized for days.
CPS communities have struggled with gun violence trauma over the years, often finding a lack of resources to help both children and staff cope with the shooting or killing of a student. Chicago educators and parents have envied the trauma response for students in Highland Park as they head back to schools after the suburb’s 4th of July tragedy.
CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said last week the district needs help from other city agencies to deal with mental health and gun violence woes hurting students.
The district partnered with police and fire personnel for an active shooter drill, and CPS safety and security chief Jadine Chou said schools are ready for that type of emergency. But the next step is to figure out how to better protect kids away from schools, she said.
Schurz High School is located in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. In 2019, a 17-year-old boy was shot and killed when a gunman standing on a corner near the school shot at his car. In 2006, three students were shot across the street from the school.