Evanston police this afternoon said they have a “person of interest” in custody in connection with the shooting deah of 14-year-old Dajae Coleman, a freshman at Evanston Township High School.

The person being held was not identified, but police said he was found with the assistance of the North Regional Major Crime Task Force.

Coleman was shot and killed at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday in the 1500 block of Church Street, less than a mile from his home in the 1900 block of Foster Street, while walking home from a party.

Police declined to release further information about the case and said the investigation is continuing.

Services for Coleman will be held on Saturday at the First Church of God Christian Life Center at 1524 Simpson St. The wake is scheduled for 10 a.m. with a funeral service at 11 a.m.

In a related development, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has scheduled a community meeting seeking solutions to address violence in Evanston.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Center, 1655 Foster St.

The mayor urges all residents, community partners, and youth-focused organizations to attend.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Meeting? What for?

    These feel-good meetings seem ridiculous.

    The reasons for violence are pretty straightforward: lack of economic opportunities for youth, familial poverty,  lax gun laws, lax sentencing of repeat offenders, and poor parenting are probably the main risk factors.

    It is pretty clear that the mayor and city council don't have much control over any of these things.  The criminals aren't going to come to the meeting and change their tune.

    The question the mayor and council needs to be concerned with is how city government can best contain and manage the violent element.

    The violent element in the town is likely a very small number of people who are probably well known to the cops.  Many of these people probably live in rental properties in the more depressed neighborhoods.

    The cops and the city should target these places and use all legal means to insure these people and the property owners comply with the law.  Get these property owners in the room and tell them in no uncertain terms that they need to comply with all ordinances.  If there is a bit of litter on their property, fine them.  

    This strategy will result in property owners being more dilligent about screening tenants.  The criminal element will be excluded from neighborhoods, these neighborhoods will become safer and the entire community will be better off.

  2. A lot of assumptions here

    Renters who don't keep clean yards are the "violent element"  –carry guns and shoot them? Police should fine property owners so we can have safe neighborhoods?  A tad simplistic.

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