LINCOLN SQUARE — A FedEx worker was shot while driving Tuesday afternoon, leading to a police chase that ended with a Porsche SUV driver crashing into Lincoln Square’s bustling Giddings Plaza and a suspect running into a Mexican restaurant filled with cops, officials and witnesses said.
The mayhem began about 2 p.m. when someone shot a FedEx driver in her upper arm in the 4200 block of North Western Avenue, police said. The victim was taken to nearby Swedish Hospital and was in good condition.
After the shooting, police chased a driver in a Porsche SUV with dealer plates from that scene, and the driver crashed into Giddings Plaza, Lincoln Square’s centerpiece pedestrian plaza. Outdoor diners scrambled from their tables as at least two men got out of the SUV and ran off.
Eyewitnesses said one man fled down an alley behind Giddings Street while the other ran onto Lincoln Avenue and into Garcia’s Restaurant, 4760 N. Lincoln Ave. — only to encounter a group of police officers eating lunch.
“The guy ran in when there were several cops in the restaurant having lunch,” said Garcia’s manager Braulio Garcia. “It was a table of seven and they all just got up, started chasing him. I’m thankful they were here when it happened.”
Ald. Matt Martin (47th) said police arrested one man linked to the shooting and crash.
“I’m relieved that the delivery truck driver was not more seriously injured, and that no bystanders were hurt when the car crash occurred in Giddings Plaza,” Martin told Block Club. “I’m also thankful that CPD officers were able to respond so quickly and apprehend one of the suspects.”
An employee from Jerry’s Sandwiches, which sits in the square, said customers on the outside patio ran away from the crash about 2 p.m.
“I’m glad the building stopped the car before it hit the plaza or patios,” the employee said.
Birgit Kobayashi, owner of Café Selmarie on the other side of the small square, said one person “scrambled out of the car after the crash and then looked like he was looking for something in the car’s front seat.”
After seeing the wreckage and police presence and hearing the yelling, Kobayashi told staff and customers to come inside until things calmed down.
By 5 p.m., four police officers were seen searching the Porsche in the plaza. By then, people were back at their tables, eating and talking in the plaza.
Some people walking by took photos of the police and SUV with their phones.
Officers were canvasing the area for surveillance footage and asking neighbors to contact the 19th District at 312-744-0064 or CAPS.firstname.lastname@example.org with any information about the shooting and crash.
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