Tourists and residents are on high alert after a man was shot early Friday near Mag Mile in what police are calling an act of road rage.
"I want to see more police at night now," said tourist Michael Calligeros of the shooting which follows a rash of other recent crimes in the area.
Police said the 31-year-old victim was standing outside his car around 12:30 a.m. on Ontario Street at Michigan Avenue when an SUV pulled up alongside him. The gunman asked his gang affiliation before opening fire, hitting the man in the abdomen, said police.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the victim, who was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was initially the “aggressor,” that he had been in one vehicle and got into a confrontation with another driver.
“The cars end up pulling over to the curb, and they get into a confrontation,” McCarthy said. “One guy gets out of his car, goes over to the other guy’s car and uses a pipe to break the window of the guy who did the shooting. The guy who got shot was an aggressor.”
Asked whether tourists, shoppers and area residents have reason to be afraid when they’re out on the Mag Mile, McCarthy said, “No, they should not. We are deployed there. We had officers deployed when this happened. Officers work late at night. I was just on Michigan Avenue myself. There are cops all over the place. There’s cops down there everywhere.”
But some wonder if business in the area will be hurt. The Mag Mile is the city's marquee shopping district.
"This is the middle of the city," said Jacob Bundor of Chicago. "I don't know how this kind of this happens here. It's totally unbelievable."
"I always thought this was a nicer area, but they're everywhere," said Bobby Sbertoli of Carol Stream.
No one was in custody as of Saturday morning.