New data on crime rates in Chicago’s premiere entertainment district has theatre-goers and residents pressing local police for answers this week.
The statistics come out after a series of high-profile violent incidents in downtown Chicago, including a shooting that left two people hurt and caused the cancellation of a show performance.
Crowds gathered Tuesday for “Moulin Rouge” at the Nederlander Theatre, just two days after Sunday’s performance of the show was canceled.
“Everyone was seated and then somebody came out and said the show was canceled because of an incident in the Loop,” Julia Smith recalled.
“The person who came out on the stage to make the announcement was all choked up,” Isabell Siegel added.
Two men, including a stagehand for the show, were shot after a robbery in an alley near the Chicago Theater on Sunday. Both men were taken to area hospitals, and both are expected to survive their injuries.
Early Tuesday morning, four more people were shot in the Loop, including a woman who was crossing a street and three more that were inside of a blue SUV.
The bullet-ridden vehicle was found abandoned in Maywood, according to authorities.
So far this year in the Loop, carjackings have more than doubled, while robberies are up 177%. Aggravated assaults are up an estimated 433% compared to 2021, according to data obtained by NBC 5.
In a press conference Tuesday, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said that more resources will be added to downtown to help stop the surge in violent crime.
“The West Side violence is as important as the South Side violence as the downtown violence. It’s all important to us,” Brown said.
The department says that shootings and murders are down citywide so far this year, with gains made in several areas that had previously seen increases in police presence.
Brown pledged Tuesday that the department would not sacrifice gains in those areas in its efforts to help add more security to the downtown portion of the city.