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Monday, September 2, 2013

Monkey Escapes zoo and shoots up Chicago aka Chiraq

At least 10 people were shot on the city's South and West sides Monday, including a 16-year-old boy and two men in their 20s fatally shot in separate shootings this afternoon.

The 16-year-old boy, whose name has not yet been released, was shot in the chest in the 10500 block of South LaSalle Street about 5:30 p.m., authorities said.

The boy was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition, according to the Chicago Fire Department's news office. He was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after, police and the Cook County medical examiner's office said.

A man in his 20s also suffered a graze wound in the attack, but he refused medical attention, Police News Affairs Officer Daniel O'Brien said.

Police did not immediately release details about the circumstances of the shooting, but authorities said a possible suspect holed up a building in the 300 block of West 106th Place. Police surrounded the building, and the person was in custody by about 7 p.m.

About 8 p.m. police found a 27-year-old man shot multiple times in the 5700 block of South Princeton Avenue.

The man was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital, police said. A representative for the Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed the office had been notified of the death.

Earlier in the afternoon, a 21-year-old man was shot in the head in the West Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side, authorities said. The man was declared dead on the scene at 2:27 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

According to the Chicago Fire Department's news office, the man was shot about 2 p.m. in the 6600 block of South Rhodes Avenue. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center for final pronouncement, officials said.

Chicago police detectives and beat officers used red and yellow tape to cordon off a two-flat style greystone in the middle of the block. Neighbors said the victim was shot outside the building and may have collapsed in a vacant lot adjacent to it.

Police placed several yellow evidence cards beside bullet casings that were in front of the building and the lot.

One neighbor said an ambulance sat at the crime scene for about 30 minutes before taking away the victim.

Meanwhile, a few families on the block could be seen barbecuing in their backyard evidently to celebrate the Labor Day holiday.

David Westin, 33, who lives across the street from the shooting scene, said he was inside his apartment building when he heard the gunshots. He then heard a female voice screaming that a friend of hers was just shot.

Chicago police haven't released much information on the shooting as of Monday afternoon, but much of the gunfire is sparked by gang rivalries that make the Woodlawn community among the most dangerous parts of the city.

Still, Westin hadn't seen much violence in his neighborhood since moving into his apartment in June. He said the police are usually out in full force.

The shooting has only reinforce his desire to move by next month, he said.

"I heard of gang activity around here, but it's the first time I've seen it up close," he said from his front porch, observing the detectives and beat officers walking around behind the yellow and red crime tape.

Darlene Sneed, 55, lives in the two-story building police cordoned off. She had just got home from her bartending job a few blocks away when she saw the red and yellow tape.

Sneed, how has lived in the building for about a year and half, burst into tears because doesn't know who the victim is. But she's afraid to find out.

"I don't know what friend it is of my great-niece. But I know it's got to be somebody I know because I can feel it in my heart that it's someone I know," a visibly distraught Sneed said at the crime scene, her right hand twitching at times. "I know a lot of these kids out here and...it don't make no sense when things happen around here."

Sneed said shootings happen regularly on her block and its surrounding blocks. Sneed was told by a detective around 4 p.m. that it would be a few hours before she's allowed inside her apartment building.

"From 71st (Street) to 61st (Street). King Drive to Cottage Grove (Avenue), it's always nothing but all this gang-banging stuff," a visibly distraught Sneed said at the crime scene, her right had twitching at times. "It's crazy this world is really crazy."

Her friend Willie Crump, 55, who also lives on the block, consoled Sneed, placing her arm around her back. Crump said she heard five gunshots while sitting at a table on her unit. She said she's heard gunfire everyday in her neighborhood.

"If it's not here it's on Saint Lawrence (Avenue), Eberhart (Avenue), Rhodes, Cottage Grove, Evans (Avenue). It's just...It's disgusting," said Crump, shaking her head in frustration.

Kia McNeal was sitting on her front porch at the corner of Marquette Road and Rhodes Avenue --where a Chicago police POD camera is affixed to a light pole--when she heard a number of gunshots. At the same time, her 2-year-old daughter was about to walk down the front steps of her apartment building, McNeal said.

That prompted McNeal to usher her daughter quickly into her apartment.

"They can't even come outside and play," McNeal, 28, said of her daughter and other children who live on the block. "We're on the corner in the mix of this stuff."

In other shootings Monday:

A 16-year-old boy and and a 22-year-old man were shot about 10:25 p.m. in the 4800 block of South Winchester Avenue, authorities said. The boy was struck in the chest and taken to Stroger, and the man was taken to Sinai after being struck in the leg and face. Both were listed in serious condition.

About 10 p.m., a 17-year-old boy was shot in the wrist during a drive-by shooting the 7400 block of South Chappel Avenue. Someone fired shots from a dark-colored SUV, which fled westbound, police said. The boy was taken to Jackson Park Hospital, where he was listed in good condition.
About 2:30 p.m., a man was shot in the 6300 block of South King Drive and taken to Stroger in critical condition after having been shot twice, O'Brien said.
Earlier, a 19-year-old man was shot in the leg in the 4200 block of West 15th Street about 9:55 a.m., said News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli. The man told police he heard shots and felt he had been shot. The man's condition had been stabilized at Mount Sinai Hospital, Mirabelli said.
About 6:30 p.m., a 36-year-old man was shot in the 11700 block of South Marshfield Avenue, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Chief Joe Roccasalva. He was taken to Christ Medical Center in serious-to-critical condition.
Check back for updates.

Midlothian Police under Federal investigation

A top south suburban police officer has come under federal scrutiny, with a grand jury seeking information about misconduct allegations and the department's "use of force" manual, the Tribune has learned.

The investigation appears to center around Midlothian Sgt. Steven Zamiar, a 13-year veteran who helped oversee the suburb's force as deputy chief until a recent political shake-up. It remains unclear exactly what about Zamiar — or the small department — has drawn the attention of federal investigators.

Zamiar, 46, won't say. The suburb's recently appointed police chief, Harold Kaufman, would say only that "numerous" people from the department have been questioned in the inquiry.

The village has received two federal grand jury subpoenas this year. The first sought Zamiar's personnel file, specifically requesting records related to allegations of misconduct by the officer, among other documents.

The second subpoena arrived in late June seeking police logs and call records tied to three days in 2011, along with the department's policy manuals regarding "use of force by police officers."

On one of those days, Zamiar filed an incident report saying he used a baton to subdue a suspect after an early morning chase outside a bar — at a time department records show he was not clocked in. Charges against the suspect for assault and resisting an officer were later dropped, according to court records.

Zamiar confirmed the federal investigation but declined further comment.

"I don't really have anything to say about it," Zamiar said. "It's an investigation, that's all I know."

Zamiar remains on duty with the department. The village told the Tribune there was no record of any internal investigations of Zamiar in the last three years.

The suburb's former police chief, David Burke, told the Tribune he thought the investigation centered on a burglary of Zamiar's car in front of his Midlothian home.

Police records show that in 2010 Zamiar chased suspects from his house and called police. Police records show the two 19-year-old suspects were caught and charged with felony burglary. Court records show both pleaded guilty and received probation.

As for the 2011 case, it was early on Thanksgiving when Zamiar reported that he saw a crowd being pushed out of a local bar by security.

Zamiar's time sheets for that day don't show him clocked in, but Zamiar wrote in his incident report that he was working in the area and approached the scene at the bar.

After learning there was a fight, Zamiar said a witness pointed out the suspect. Then after a brief chase, Zamiar said the suspect "turned toward me in an aggressive manner."

"At this time I utilized my ASP Baton and the subject was taken into custody without further resistance," Zamiar wrote.

Zamiar said the suspect later complained of pain but signed a refusal for medical treatment.

The suspect's attorney declined to comment.

Zamiar has faced past allegations of abuse. He was accused in 2007 of giving a suspect a concussion while trying to arrest him. That case was settled.

Early in his career, Zamiar faced three other lawsuits alleging excessive force, all within his first year on the beat. The village denied the allegations in all cases and court records appear to show one was settled, while the other two were dropped.

Records related to the suits were received by the grand jury in response to the first subpoena.

A look at Zamiar's work history in the village also shows a number of recognitions. Among several citations for achievement are commendations for drug busts as well as his work when a knife-wielding assailant went on a rampage at a shopping center, leaving a 1-year-old dead.

Zamiar also has a record of attending numerous courses in recent years, including special training in the proper use of force. Records show he completed three such courses the same year that he said he used his baton in the 2011 incident.

Burke, who appointed Zamiar deputy chief in 2011, said Zamiar is a good cop.

"(Zamiar) doesn't know what's going on. They won't tell him either," Burke said. "He's losing sleep, and he's quite upset about it. He's never done anything wrong."