A 19-year-old Loyola University student may have been the unintended target of a gang-related shooting in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood over the weekend, officials said.
"Police do not believe that she was the intended target that there was someone else in the vicinity the assailants were attempting to hit and unfortunately, she got caught in the crossfire," said Ald. Joe Moore.
About 9:15 p.m. Friday, the student was walking with friends to a store in the 6700 block of North Clark when someone fired shots from a passing vehicle, according to Chicago Police.
The woman was shot in the lower back and taken in critical condition to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. On Monday, her condition was upgraded to serious. In an alert posted on Loyola’s website, the university confirmed she is a student.
A gray Nissan Altima was seen speeding away from the scene of the shooting, according to police, who said the woman was not the intended target.
On Sunday, the student was recovering after undergoing surgery, according to a message sent by Moore. He added that investigators are examining surveillance video as well as shell casings to determine if they can be traced to a certain weapon.
"It just goes back to the fact that we have way too many guns on our streets and way too much violence," Moore said. "I just scratch my head in bewilderment that our legislators in Springfield and in Congress don't give us the tools here at the local level to get these guns off the streets and make sure that they're not in the hands of these gang bangers and criminals."
The police department will be "saturating" the area with both uniformed and plain clothed officers, according to Moore.
The school's Campus Safety Department also says it plans to work closely with police, patrolling in both marked and unmarked cars 24 hours a day, Loyola University said in a statement.
"Loyola university has been a great institution in our community," Moore said. "They're a wonderful school. The students who go there are learning very important skills that will help them throughout life. I certainly don't want this tragic isolated act of violence to discourage people from attending that great academic institution or coming to my neighborhood."
Anyone will information is asked to call Area North Detectives at (312) 744-8261. Tips can also be submitted to Tipsoft.com.