UPTOWN — Taunting on social media led to the fatal shooting in Uptown Monday afternoon, according to Chicago police deputy chief of detectives Constantine “Dean” Andrews.
“It had nothing to do with narcotics,” Andrews told community members and leaders, including Ald. James Cappleman, at a packed CAPS meeting Wednesday evening held at Clarendon Park Community Center, 4501 N. Clarendon St.
A member of the community found the taunts on social media and alerted police, Andrews said.
“That came from the community,” he said. “We didn’t know about it.”
The deputy chief, who Cappleman said he specifically asked to attend the meeting after recent violence, said the shooting was part of the “same conflict” between gangs in the neighborhood, including the Black P-Stones and Gangster Disciples, among others.
While the shooting victim was “affiliated” with the Conservative Vice Lords and the Black P-Stones, he was not a known member of either gang, Andrews said.
Monday’s shooting happened during around 2:50 p.m. in the 900 block of West Agatite Avenue. The victim was shot in his chest and pronounced dead on the scene, according to police.
As of Wednesday evening, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office had yet to identify the victim.
At the CAPS meeting, several residents voiced concerns over recent shootings, two of them fatal. Demarcus Adams, who was a known P-Stone gang member, was shot and killed in late February.
One resident said “we’re going into shooting season” and wanted to know if police was planning on working with other city agencies on a prevention plan.
“Part of addressing crime is identifying where crime is coming from and what the motives are,” Andrews said in response. “There are other city agencies that can impact crime. The vehicle to get to those agencies is this meeting.”
He added: “You have to know what’s causing the problem in order to address it. Throwing resources in a direction where they don’t know what to do … it’s really a wasted effort.”
Similar to what he said at a recent CAPS meeting after the shooting of Demarcus Adams, Sgt. Jason Clark called Wednesday’s packed meeting “a step in a good direction.”
“We haven’t had this at all … not ever,” Clark said. At Wednesday’s meeting, several residents stood in the back of the room because all of the chairs were occupied. He said the meetings typically draw an average of 12 people, sometimes including officers.
Addressing residents’ concerns, Cappleman said he’s hoping to secure a grant and create a program where kids can travel safely.
His office found that kids are dropping out of school because they are having to travel from one gang territory to another, he said.
The alderman also pointed to “positive loitering” — where a group of people intentionally hang out in a trouble spot to deter criminal activity — and walking around troubled areas himself as ways to help curb gun violence.
But one resident said Cappelman’s strategy has no impact.
“They don’t care that he’s walking down the street,” resident Wilma Pittman told DNAinfo Chicago after the meeting.
Pittman said in the eight years that she’s lived in Uptown the gun violence has “gotten much worse.”
While Pittman did not know the shooting victim, she said she does know his mother, who she said works as a bus attendant at McCutcheon Elementary School where she helps kids get safely on the bus.
“I can’t even go to the Aldi or Target it’s so violent,” she said.