Residents in Chicago's west Humboldt Park neighborhood are calling on the police department to increase its presence in the area after three people were shot -- two fatally -- on the same block in just three days.
On Monday, Jovany Diaz was celebrating his 15th birthday with friends near his home on the 4300 block of West Hirsch Street when a man reportedly came out of a nearby alley and shot him in the chest. He was pronounced dead at nearby hospital. Diaz was reportedly a straight-A student with no gang ties, but as loved ones gathered to remember him on Tuesday, more violence erupted on the street.
A Chicago Sun-Times reporter attending Diaz's memorial ended up running from the scene after a "crazed teenager" began firing at the crowd. A 24-year-old man was shot in the leg, and allegedly refused to talk to police about the gunman due to fear of retaliation.
On Wednesday night, police reportedly saw a man with a gun near Diaz's memorial at Hirsch and Kolin, according to the Chicago Tribune. The man, 21-year-old Pedro Gonzalez III, was apparently a friend of Diaz's.
From the Tribune:
The officers got out of their car and started chasing the Gonzalez, according to a spokesman for the FOP, Pat Camden. In the 1400 block of North Kolin Avenue, Gonzalez pulled out a gun and was shot by the officers, he said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's office told the Sun-Times Gonzalez was shot multiple times. He is the second person to be killed by police this week. On Tuesday, officers shot carjacking suspect Sean Brown, 18, on the South Side.
Gonzalez's father called his son "quiet and kind of dorky" and said he would have kicked him out of the house if he found out he was in a gang. He was also worried about Gonzalez leaving the house due to violence in the area.
"This neighborhood is bad," Gonzalez told the Tribune. "We need more police. . .That's what the mayor says. Let's see what happens."
The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating the shooting.
According to the Chicago Red Eye's homicide map, 15 people have been murdered in Humboldt Park so far this year, the most of any community area. Last year, the area saw 29 killings.
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