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Three injured in shooting outside Near West Side restaurant

Chicago Police at the crime scene late Thursday evening. Three people were shot behind a alleyway. February 9, 2012 | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Three people are in critical condition after being shot Thursday night behind a Michelin-rated restaurant on the Near West Side.

Police said the shooting happened about 8:15 p.m. in the 1400 block of West Cortez Street.

Three people were shot and all were taken to area hospitals in serious to critical condition, according to Fire Media Affairs. One person was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital while two were taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

Brian Carver, a longtime customer at the Frontier restaurant at 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., said he arrived at the restaurant shortly after the shooting.

Carver said one of the shooting victims is an employee of the restaurant.

“He [the employee] went into the alley and found out people were trying to break into his car and then he went inside to grab a friend,” Carver said. “He came back out to confront the people who were breaking into his car and was shot at.”

Danny Collom, 25, lives on the block and said he heard gunshots and yelling while watching television. He came out of his apartment and saw two people on stretchers in the back of the restaurant.

“They were both sitting up and looked ok,” Collom said.

Although police said the shooting occurred on Cortez, three ambulances were sent to the nearby 1000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue.

Unconfirmed dispatch reports indicated authorities were seeking six people who may have been involved in the shooting.

The Frontier is recommended by the 2012 Michelin Guide, according to the restaurant’s website.