The University of Chicago's president and provost sent a letter to students Tuesday after a recent graduate of the university was gunned down just off campus hours after earlier gunfire in the area had left many on edge.
"This is a deeply painful day for our community and our city," the letter from President Paul Alivisatos and Provost Ka Yee C. Lee read.
The university's leadership said they have been in contact with the Chicago Police Department as well as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city leaders, with plans to continue safety discussions Wednesday.
"The city is formalizing, with the university’s involvement, a number of short and longer-term public safety strategies specifically for the Hyde Park and surrounding communities," the letter read. "More will be communicated soon."
Hyde Park, the community anchored by the university, has been shaken to its core after the series of violent acts on Tuesday. A 24-year-old graduate of the school was shot and killed during an attempted robbery as he walked just blocks from the campus.
The victim in the case, who has not yet been identified by police, was shot once in the chest, and was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Rep. Bobby Rush came to the neighborhood after the shooting, saying that his heart was with the victim and that he is pushing in Congress for a stronger response to gun violence.
“We have to treat violence in Chicago the same way we are treating the pandemic of the coronavirus,” he said.
Rush’s opponent in the 2022 Democratic primary, community activist Jahmal Cole, was apparently shot at near the intersection of 53rd Street and Harper, less than a mile away from where the fatal shooting took place.
Cole, in an Instagram post, said he had to dive for cover, and suffered a wound to his neck during the incident.
“I dove underneath the car. I ran for my life, like everybody on the street,” he said.
No one was hit in the shooting, but multiple vehicles were damaged and two businesses were hit, according to Chicago police. Cole does not believe he was targeted in the shooting, which remains under investigation.
Early Tuesday near Washington Park, a 31-year-old man was stabbed to death during a domestic incident, according to police, capping off a day that shook up residents and students.
"Our city struggles with many of the same issues of violence that afflict all large cities in the U.S.," the university's leaders wrote. "Unless we can meet that challenge together, our communities will not truly feel safe. The University and the Hyde Park community make up one of this City’s great neighborhoods, and we are fully committed to doing more as a University and as an anchor institution on the South Side. This includes developing comprehensive efforts to reduce violence, and supporting Chicago’s communities in securing a safer future."
No arrests have been made in connection with any of the incidents.