CHICAGO — A man was shot while campaigning for an aldermanic candidate Sunday afternoon in West Englewood — a shooting captured on Facebook Live, police said.
The victim, 32-year-old Maxwell Little, was on Facebook Live encouraging people to support candidate Joseph Williams when the shooting happened, according to the video and a news release from the Chicago Neighborhood Alliance.
The video shows Little holding up fliers for Williams, who’s running for alderman in the 15th Ward, before gunshots ring out.
“God is still great,” Little wrote on Facebook. “Whoever tried to kill me failed. My political views will not change no matter what.”
The shooting happened 1:46 p.m. Sunday in the 6600 block of South Marshfield Avenue, police said. Little was walking on the sidewalk when someone in a red mask fired shots.
He was hit in his leg and he took himself to Little Company of Mary Hospital, where he was in good condition, police said.
Williams acknowledged during a Monday afternoon press conference that the shooting was probably not politically motivated. His opponent, Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th) said this was just another case of gang members opening fire at someone because they didn’t recognize him.
“The accusations that somehow the shooting was politically motivated are just ridiculous,” Lopez said Monday. “It’s an insult to me personally and to the democratic process in Chicago. Campaigns are fought and won at the ballot box, not like this.”
Lopez said he was glad the victim was okay, and pointed to other shootings in the ward recently where gang members opened fire just because there was a newcomer in the neighborhood.
“… Somebody in the community didn’t recognize the person walking down the street and thought that the best thing for them was to try and shoot and kill them,” Lopez said. “I think speaks volumes about what we’ve been fighting against for the past four years.”
Despite the “broad daylight” weekend shooting, Lopez said the ward has seen a “stark reduction” in shootings overall.
Though Williams’ campaign said they don’t believe Lopez orchestrated the shooting, the Chicago Neighborhood Alliance and Citizens for Civic Engagement still held a press conference Monday explaining why people fear running for office in Chicago.
“Candidates and their volunteers have experienced intimidation, outright physical assault and recent gun violence,” the news release said. “One candidate’s volunteer said the signatures she was collecting were physically taken from her hands. Another candidate reported being personally confronted with a handgun.”
Nicole Johnson, who is running in the 20th Ward, and Creative Scott, running in the 24th Ward, have both reported being threatened and intimidated while canvassing in their West and South Side wards.
A news conference calling on the state legislature to change the “current unjust municipal election code” was slated for 9 a.m. Monday.
No one was in custody. An investigation was ongoing.
There are currently six candidates running against Lopez in the 15th Ward race. The candidates are Berto Aguayo, Otis Davis Jr., Deborah Lane, Joel Riojas, Williams and Rafael “Rafa” Yanez.
WARNING: Gunshots heard in video below.