IRVING PARK — Police shot and killed a man early Wednesday following a fight near an Irving Park bar that led to gunfire, police Supt. David Brown said.
Just after 3 a.m., police responded to a call from a bouncer at a bar in the 3700 block of North Kedzie Avenue about a man pointing a gun at people outside, Brown said.
The man had been inside the bar and was asked to leave, then came back and pointed the gun outside, witnesses told investigators, Brown said, though he noted the information still “has to be verified.”
Christina’s Place, 3759 N. Kedzie Ave., is open until 4 a.m. weekdays. Customers and a bouncer told ABC7 the man who was shot had stopped by the bar to have a drink.
When he stepped outside to smoke, he appeared to get “agitated” while talking to people and pulled a gun on the bouncer, which led to police being called, according to ABC7.
The two responding officers, a 12-year veteran and a probationary officer, were given a description of the man from the bouncer and chased him as he ran toward an alley in the 3700 block of North Troy Street, Brown said.
Gunfire was exchanged, and officers fatally shot the man, Brown said.
The man’s identity had not been released as of Wednesday afternoon.
No officers were wounded, Brown said. Police found a gun with an extended magazine at the scene, Brown said.
The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative duties for 30 days while the Civilian Office of Police Accountability investigates, Brown said.
The bar’s co-owner Sal Mehmeti told Block Club he was not working when the shooting occurred but learned from employees the man police killed was not a regular at the bar. Police took footage from his bar’s surveillance system, which has cameras both inside and outside the business, he said.
The alley where the shooting occurred is behind New Apostolic Church, 3753 N. Troy St. The church also has at least one camera facing the alley where the shooting occurred. A church employee working Wednesday afternoon said police arrived earlier in the day to speak to staff but declined further comment.
In a statement, Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd) asked neighbors who knew the slain man or his family to get in touch with her office to offer them support services.
Others who need help or have questions can email the office at email@example.com, Rodriguez-Sanchez said.
Neighbors who live nearby said they witnessed the aftermath of the shooting and described disturbing scenes as police investigated through the night.
A neighbor living near North Troy and West Grace streets woke up around 3 a.m. Wednesday to the sound of two men shouting quickly followed by four or five gunshots, she said.
“It happened really fast,” she said.
After the gunfire, the woman went to call police; when she looked outside her window, she saw a uniformed officer standing on the sidewalk outside the alley behind the church, pointing a gun at a man on the ground in the alley, she said.
The man on the ground appeared dead, she said.
It looked like the man was holding something, but the woman “didn’t get a clear look,” she said.
Initially, the woman only saw one officer at the scene, but a second officer arrived on the scene a few minutes later, the neighbor said.
Claudine North, a longtime neighbor, said she got home from work around 12:30 a.m. and woke up to a “very loud shot” in the middle of the night before falling back asleep. When her husband was getting ready for work later in the morning, he saw all the commotion in the alley behind their home, she said.
They could see the man’s body lying against the black iron fence of the parking lot next to their home, North said.
“It took a while for them to take his body out of here,” North said. “It’s hard. I have my kids and everything. But it’s hard. What can you do?”
Neighbor Heather Schmeckpeper said she also was startled awake by the sound of a couple of gunshots.
She saw at least six police cars, three ambulances and a fire truck pull up near Grace and Troy followed by news crews, she said.
“Then a bunch of officers, like eight of them, ran towards the middle of the intersection. At one point one of them said, ‘Oh, I need you guys at the bar,’” she said. “It was nuts.”
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