Skip to contents
Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

After Violent Weekend, Humboldt Parkers Say Coronavirus Shutdown Making It Hard For Police, Neighbors To Work Together

One of the shootings sounded like a "gun battle," said neighbor Andrew Christen. "It wasn't a drive-by or anything. They were shooting it out. Like cowboys."

Paul Biasco/DNAinfo
  • Credibility:

HUMBOLDT PARK — Five people were shot, two fatally, in separate attacks in Humboldt Park and West Humboldt Park over the violent Memorial Day weekend.

A 21-year-old and a 28-year-old man were killed in shootings Saturday and Sunday. Three people were shot in one incident late Monday night.

Longtime residents say though the violence isn’t the worst they’ve seen in their neighborhood during a holiday weekend, the shootings nonetheless exemplify a persistent problem.

“This is an ongoing thing, this isn’t an influx,” said Andrew Christen, of West Humboldt Park.

The Monday shooting occurred just before 11:30 p.m. in the 1000 block of North Hamlin Avenue, according to police.

Three people were hanging out on the sidewalk when they saw a man chasing another man and then heard multiple gunshots, police said.

A 36-year-old woman was hit in her right arm and lower back, a 33-year-old man was hit in his right shoulder and a 44-year-old man was hit in the left side of his body, his abdomen and left leg, police said.

All three victims were taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition.

Christen, who owns a two-flat in West Humboldt Park, heard the shooting while he was on his roof with his roommates. He said it sounded like a “gun battle.”

“It wasn’t a drive-by or anything. They were shooting it out. Like cowboys,” Christen said.

Also in West Humboldt Park, 21-year-old Dariontae Adams was fatally shot around 7:45 a.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of North Drake Avenue, according to police.

Responding officers found Adams and contacted paramedics, according to police. Adams died at 8:15 a.m. at Stroger Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. No further details were available.

Just after 11 p.m. Saturday, 28-year-old Alejandro Castro was shot and killed in the 3400 block of West North Avenue in Humboldt Park, police said.

Castro, of the 3500 block of North Avenue, was found on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound in his head, authorities said. Two men were seen running from the scene, but police have not made any arrests in the case.

Castro was pronounced dead at 11:53 p.m., according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Richard Karwowski, co-chair of the neighborhood group United Blocks of Humboldt Park and longtime Humboldt Park resident, said he worries the coronavirus shutdown is making it harder for police to prevent shootings.

Neighbors and police officers are unable to meet in person for community policing meetings under the stay at home order.

“The passing of information, the working together with police to solve these problems is not happening right now,” Karwowski said.

Karwowski said he witnessed a shooting in Humboldt Park last Wednesday in the middle of the day in the 1200 block of North Kedzie Avenue. He said he was about 100 feet away when someone in a group opened fire.

“They shot up two cars, one of the girls was grazed in the neck. She was extremely lucky that it didn’t go through her neck or head,” he said.

Still, Karwowski, who has lived in Humboldt Park for 20 years, said the neighborhood didn’t see nearly as much violence as Humboldt Park is used to seeing over Memorial Day weekend.

“It’s nothing like the past, it’s nothing like a decade or more ago,” he said.

Joy Johns, a CAPS beat facilitator in East Humboldt Park, said shootings are down east of the neighborhood’s namesake park compared to last summer.

“I 100 percent attribute that to the 14th Police District and Ald. La Spata’s office,” Johns said.

In recent years, violence has slowed east of Humboldt Park, but West Humboldt Park has remained a hot spot for gun violence and drug sales.

“You go on the other side of the tracks and it’s night and day,” Christen said, referring to the Metra tracks that separate Humboldt Park from West Humboldt Park.

Karwowski said the same thing: “You cross the railroad tracks [and] it’s 10 times worse.”

Johns, also a member of the East Humboldt Park Neighborhood Association, said her group is looking to coordinate a meeting with neighborhood groups across the park to keep residents safe during the summer months, when gun violence typically rises.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.