WICKER PARK — Coworkers of a man who was shot at a Wicker Park bar last week are raising money to help cover his living expenses and medical bills while he starts a lengthy recovery.
Jordan Mendez was having a drink Feb. 6. at The Point, 1565 N. Milwaukee Ave., after his shift as a server at DSTRKT Bar & Grill down the street. Shortly after The Point closed at 5 a.m., police said Daveon Montgomery fired several shots into the bar. Mendez was shot just below his right eye.
Montgomery was charged last week with aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a weapon into an occupied building, according to police and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and is being held without bond.
DSTRKT owner Frank Maza said Wednesday that Mendez was an innocent bystander, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“He was there maybe 20 minutes. I don’t even think he finished his first beer,” Maza said.
Mendez was rushed to the hospital, and has undergone several surgeries to remove the bullet and attempt to save his eye, Maza said. Mendez’ recovery is expected to last at least three months, leaving him unable to work, Maza said.
DSTRKT wants to raise $20,000 for Mendez and his family to pay living expenses, medical bills and other costs, Maza said. They collected more than $6,600 through GoFundMe as of Wednesday afternoon.
“Right now it’s all about saving his eye and getting the bullet out and all that stuff, but once the dust settles there’s going to be a lot more that he’s going have to deal with,” Maza said.
Mendez began working at DSTRKT as a barback in August and stood out as a reliable employee, Maza said.
“We realized that he’s a special kid, he’s a good kid and we promoted him to a server. We trained him, promoted him to a server and we started training him as a bartender, as well,” Maza said. “…He’s just a good kid all around.”
Even after he was shot, Mendez was still concerned about work, Maza said. The day after the shooting, Mendez texted a work group chat, apologizing to coworkers for missing his scheduled hours.
“He’s like, ‘Hey, I’m so sorry for not finding someone to cover my shift,’ because he was supposed to work,” Maza said.
DSTRKT is also hosting an in-person fundraiser Monday, collecting donations from customers and contributing a portion of the proceeds to Mendez.
Organizers of the GoFundMe wrote that Mendez volunteers with local nonprofits and mentors at Roberto Clemente High School. They also said he moved to Humboldt Park to be closer to his mother, who is recovering from brain surgery.
“I think he’s doing a really good job of staying positive, even though I know inside he’s probably battling some demons. He’s doing really well, but I do think he’s struggling with it a little bit,” Maza said.
The shooting is the second associated with The Point in five months. One person was killed and four others were wounded Oct. 10 in a shooting outside the bar.
Owner Jun Lin said last week he’s since increased security at the bar and has staff diligently checking IDs at the door.
“We’re doing everything we can in terms of being a business. We were simply victimized twice with shootings. That’s violence in Chicago. I don’t think the answer is to my close business, when we haven’t done anything wrong,” he said.
But police Supt. David Brown shut down The Point Feb. 8, reasoning that the bar was a “public safety threat,” according to a notice posted on the bar’s door.
The notice states Lin can request a hearing “before the mayor to determine whether a public safety threat occurred.”
If Lin fails to request a hearing, the business could stay closed for up to six months, the notice reads.
Lin did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
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