Chicago’s 22 beaches opened for the summer on Friday, May 26th and, just hours later, a shooting occurred at North Avenue Beach. Police said that the incident occurred when a group of between 80 and 100 teens got into a fight on the beach, leading to one drawing a weapon and firing it.
The weapon has not yet been recovered, police said, and the beach was shut down for hours as police investigated the shooting.
Fox 32, reporting on the shooting and quoting individuals who were at the beach when the incident occurred, reported:
Brandon Ellington, Brittany Ball and Miguel Segundo stopped off at the beach Friday afternoon, but were kicked off the sand because of the shooting. Friday was Ball’s and Segundo’s one chance to hit the beach for the weekend thanks to work.
“This is my first day off all week and then I work through the weekend,” Ball said. “This was the one day I had.”
The three friends were hoping to enjoy the first weekend for open beaches. “What a way to kick off summer,” Segundo said.
Mikaylah Willis came up from St. Louis for the weekend to celebrate her son’s 7th birthday. They started their day in Chinatown before coming to the beach Friday afternoon.
Willa said she didn’t know about the shooting until they got to the beach. “It happens, unfortunately. But we’re still going to enjoy our weekend,” Willis said. “[Shootings] just seem to be a part of life now.”
Willis said they still plan on visiting the city’s beaches while they’re in town. “It’s important you try and not let it scare you and live on with your life,” she said.
The incident occurred shortly after the Chicago Police Department posted on Facebook about focusing on public safety ahead of Memorial Day weekend and the summer, saying:
Interim Superintendent Fred Waller joined Chicago Mayor’s Office, City departments, City leaders and community partners to discuss public safety for this summer ahead of Memorial Day weekend. We will have resources in place to keep Chicagoans across the city safe.
We have been preparing year round for the summer months with a comprehensive safety plan. We will continue coordinating with community partners, OEMC, Chicago Transit Authority & other agencies to ensure that families and youth can enjoy the city safely.
CPD also has plans to address large gatherings, as well as individualized plans tailored to the needs of communities to keep Chicagoans safe. We want everyone to enjoy the holiday weekend, and this summer, safely and responsibly.
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