Evanston police are on the scene on Elmwood Avenue near South Boulevard where a cab driver was shot about 2 a.m. today.

Police Commander Jay Parrott says the driver, who works for Best Taxi, was shot in the head and is now hospitalized in critical condition and on life support.

The North Regional Major Crimes Task Force and Evanston Police detectives are investigating the shooting.

The name of the victim is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.

Police were initially called to the scene after neighbors heard the cab crash into a parked car.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Last year when Leslie Calvin

    Last year when Leslie Calvin was shot and killed in South Evanston, the police told us not to be concerned, because violent crime was limited to people involved in the drug trade. I guess now we shouldn't worry because it's just cab drivers and people involved in the drug trade. Oh, and people who are at home at a time when a group of drug addicts might want to bust in and look for drug money. But hey, all of these people knew the risks when they decided to get involved in dealing drugs, driving cabs, and hanging out at home. They get what they deserve!

  2. 5 minutes ago I received a

    5 minutes ago I received a $25 parking ticket for parking 13.5 inches from the curb by an Evanston Police officer. It is important to point out that even though violent crime is escalating and hurting the image of our community,  the Evanston Police Department is doing a wonderful job of measuring the distance of back left car tires to curbs.

    1. I’m guessing

      I am guessing that a parking enforcement officer and not a police officer gave you the ticket. Parking enforcement officers are the equivalent to community service officers. They don't carry a weapon and don't have any authority.


      Next time be a little more careful parking, I don't want to have to go around your car because you are too lazy to park correctly and don't be such a jerk to the police who are doing an awesome job!

  3. Cabbie shot in South Evanston

    As a neighborhood resident I share the passion of "Last Year when Leslie Calvin."  However, a rant is not that productive.  Let's put some intelligence behind comments to Evanston Now and come up with some productive ideas.

      1. I agree

        I agree with this productive idea: hire a new police chief. Something is not working and obviously those prone to crime and violence feel our town is a place to get away with it. Sad.

      2. Hire a new police chief? Not the answer!

        Simple solution that does not work.   While it does appear to me we have city management employees who do not have a clue what they are doing, the police department does not control the level of crime in the community.  They are only reacting to it. Replacing the Police Chief would not accomplish a thing. It does not appear we have any real problems with his performance in the department operation. 

        Evanston has a very large criminal population that the public officials do not want to admit it exists. Recently several police officers were honored for reducing the crime on one block of Jackson street in the 5th ward from 1200 police calls in a year to under 50, or less.  Yes they had something to do with it , but it sounds like they moved people out.   We did not get much of story at the council. 

        The Mayor and her friends do not want an honest discussion of crime in this town, since it does not fit their view of the world, no more than how she handle the Tilted Kilt.

      3. Isn’t he pretty new?

        I thought he was pretty new.  IS that right?  In any event, on the subject of ideas, I think it is important to begin some big public things to begin to address the shooting epidemic we seem to have.  Some of them may be symbolic – like bringing in someone new, but some should be very substantive.  How about training neighborhood watch people again?  Is that still on-going?  If so, up the profile.  And, I read somewhere else in these safety debate, but some more police WALKING the neighborhoods and downtown.  


        I'm all for gun control but if we pass anything it will cost us more in legal bills than it is worth.  We have to work with the laws we have and that means reading the research about community policing and doing more of it if we can.

  4. At least we have fully clothed waitresses

    Good thing the Mayor is preserving our image by keeping the Tilted Kilt out of town.  People might start to think we have some “issues”.

    1. Enough already!

      Everything that happens in Evanston does not need a Tilted Kilt footnote! Get over it already.

  5. It was an actual police

    It was an actual police officer, with a gun and a badge and sirens and a big light on the side of the car. I understand that I deserved the ticket. I have an issue with the priorities of the department when an officer would be asked to go look for any little parking infraction so that the city can increase its revenue, when that officer should have been instructed to spend his time working on something of far greater importance. This is not about the specific officer, but about the priorities of our local government as a whole. It ties into the budget issues, plastic bag debate and Tilted Kilt decision. We are not going to solve any of the problems in this city if we continue to focus on meaningless issues.  Thank you Gladys, you a very mature woman. You must have been raised at city hall.

    1. Parking ticket

      I would say your parking ticket is the result of an officer patrolling your side street and happened upon your car parked illegally. It takes about 30 seconds to write a pre-printed parking ticket. I hardly think this took away from his crime patrolling time. Besides people do call the police about parking problems and I'm sure as soon as they stop enforcing parking violations the blogs will fill up with how the police don't do another part of their job. Park your car legally and be happy this officer was working your area. Additionally, writing this ticket kept him in front of your house just a little bit longer than normal.

    2. 13 inches matters

      Just last week my son's special ed school bus (which means he gets dropped at the door and the bus must come down our street) was stranded because two cars parked on either side of the street were over a foot from the curb and the driver couldn't make the turn at the end of our block.  About 8 mentally disabled kids and two adults were trapped for an hour until one of the cars could be towed.  They write those parking tickets for a reason.

  6. Enough is enough

    From the Chicago Tribune story about this:

    "There is no neighborhood safer than this one," said Judith Wittner, who has lived around the corner on South Boulevard since 1968. "I'm sorry it happened, but I am not worried."

    Either Ms. Wittner is incredibly naive or in denial and I think this is part of the reason why crime is so bad in Evanston. Evanston is a dangerous place. But, many don't want to face that truth. Are we too tolerant? I think so. I've lived here for 10 years and every year I feel less and less safe. Me and my family are getting the hell out of here as soon as possible. Enough is enough.

  7. Hire a new Chief

    I hardly think the Chief of Police or any officer can do much to prevent the shooting of a cab driver in a moving cab by a passenger who was most likely picked up in Chicago. How about getting some judges and prosecutors who actually send these criminals to prison for a nice long stay. I find it highly unlikely that the shooter in this case is a first time offender. I'm sure if he/she is ever located the criminal history with make War and Peace look like a brochure.

  8. Too many murders and shootings in evanston

    Hope the Mayor and police department will begin to address escalating crime especially near St. Francis hospital. Let's see 2 dead babies mysteriously show up in the hospital basement,  there is a murder right in front of the hospital on ridge last summer and now this, not to mention the recent shootout at Mcdonalds . True, from my perspective, it does seem the police spend an inordinate amount of time handing out frivolous parking tickets for infractions including being 13 inches from the curb instead of 12. I'm talking about one I received not the other contributor above.  This is a travesty. The gang problems are escalating and we need better protection around here.   Thanks  from a former life long Brooklynite who got her first mugging in Evanston.  I am sure my hefty property taxes can be used for a better purpose than what is being done at present. 

  9. Tilted Kilt?

    I'm not sure if we can purely blame the policy in an incident like this. The police can't be everywhere, and I'm sure that they are limited with what they can do given the available resources. I also don't think that violent crime like this is particularly common in Evanston (fortunately), so the police officers are probably not very experienced in handling situations like this (the parking ticket situation illustrates this). At least that's what I would imagine. We also don't know whether the criminals are even from Evanston, keep in mind that this happened quite close to Chicago (that's the disadvantage of being close to Chicago).

    I think that this is an education/community problem as well. How much is Evanston doing to help low-income families with after-school programs, supplemental education and so forth? How much is done in schools to counteract potential developments like this from students? A 12-year old that was troubled 5 years ago, could be a criminal with a gun today.

    I'm not a big fan of the Tilted Kilt either, but is worrying and preventing a business like this really a priority? Or should our major focus on more important issues, and just let the place open – with all the associated benefits for the community? Tax revenue, traffic, jobs? The Tilted Kilt doesn't just hire young women, but also cooks, men etc. Let's keep in mind that the Tilted Kilt is neither a brothel nor a strip club! If opening up the Tilted Kilt would bring one more police officer on the street, and or enable 30 students to succeed better in school, then it might just be worth it.

    Let's hope that the criminals that engaged in this horrible crime will be caught and brought to justice, but I feel that Evanston ultimately needs a stronger police force (more detectives?) and more innovative ways to support disadvantages teenagers and communities.

  10. Many Thoughts

    Let's pray for the cab driver. Let's try to do what we can to help the Police do their job. Stop looking for someone to blame  – other than the person(s) who actually did this horrible crime. When you see something occurring that you know MAY be a potential crime – call the police and (hopefully) you can get a REAL officer that holds up their sworn oath – "to protect and SERVE" the community. For the record there are some that have no idea what that means.

    As far as the ticket writing. I believe that they do waste plenty of time – meter maids and officers alike and yes they both write tickets. Walking the beats ALL TIMES of the night (including 1am to 4 am) would probably be the best deterrent to potential criminal behavior.

    CALL THE POLICE and tell what you see. The community needs to build a relationship with EPD – and yes there are people that live on my block that "look" like gang members BUT not all of them are. The Police have gotten to know who each and everyone of them. Some have tried to come to a change – RESPECT where they live and try to get out of the situation that they are in. They are looking for help and EPD and the City of Evanston is trying to get these "way-ward" individuals some help. So as far as hiring a new police chief – I don't think that would change anything. He's doing his job. The courts with the yo-yo justice system is where YOU should focus your energy. Write Congress!


  11. Crime and Violence

    No hiring a new police chief wont help, and  you cant arrest your way out of  imbedded sickness in a community! Our issues are deep and they are the byproduct of many things, to many to list!

    But heres an Idea lets get the City, school districts, Nu, the top 10 earning businesses, the clergy, and any other entity that will get Involved, and have a mass training of unemployed, and untrained, youth and young adults who make up the subculture of  the antisocial, and lost community!

    How? the large think tank we need to get this done sits on our lake, NU, we have a old and leaking and costly  housing stock, we have a large unemployed untrained labor force HMMMMM? see were I am going!

    The city has said to the feds they will  get there carbon foot print under control, each home in Evanston can qualify for about 4 grand in tax incentives to adult and retrofit there homes to be more energy efficient!

    Well folks let use these parts of a plan to retrain our unproductive, and uninvolved folks in our town and at the same time lower the cost of home ownership, WOW lowering cost while helping people, real novel IDEA! Then maybe we can get away from the idea the only way to lower crime is to lock up generations of people!

    Cause we have been on the lock all up model for ahhhhh lets say 30 years feel any safer? I think not!

    Do we have some who need to go to jail and stay? yes!! You shoot or hurt a person you need to go down!

    But we need wide answers for wide problems!

    This is not in anyway a help the criminal plan this is a plan to disconnect the criminal mindset 

  12. Pathetic

    I was disgusted by the Council’s laziness at the special council meeting last night.  Chief Eddington gave his usual boilerplate presentation on the Evanston police.  The Council asked only one shallow question.  It was truly pathetic.  As our streets become increasingly lawless, the Council does not even have the guts to demand answers to the increasing levels of crime in community.  Even the perennial loudmouths Ann Rainey and Colleen Burrus were as docile as sleeping kitties.  The Council’s apathy was shameful.

    1. Another Reprehensible Council Moment

      I watched the special council meeting for myself.  I am shocked by the aldermen's craven conduct.  Shootings are a daily occurrence in Evanston.  The council can only must the courage to ask the chief of police 1 question about crime here.  Do the aldermen realize how embarrassing their conduct is?

      1. Shootings

        Hi Paul,

        Your claim that "shootings" are a daily occurrence in Evanston requires a bit of fact checking.

        Most people define a "shooting" as somebody getting hit by a bullet.

        So far this year in Evanston police have reported three shootings that I'm aware of:

        (That may not be an absolutely complete list, but it includes all the incidents I could locate information on quickly.)

        You might argue for a broader definition, and say that any call to police reporting "shots fired" is a shooting, although in reality some of those may not actually be shots fired.

        In that case you should know that, checking the Daily Crime Bulletin, I see ten reports of shots fired in the past month.

        None of this it to suggest that Evanston doesn't have a crime problem, or that we should be blasé about the shootings that do occur here.

        And you're certainly free to criticize the lack of more extensive questionning of the police chief by aldermen.

        But it helps to base the conversation on facts.

        — Bill

        1. Re: Shooting


          In my comments, I meant shooting as the discharge of a projectile from a weapon.  During a discussion with one of the eight police commander, he told me that shootings (discharge of a weapon) occur daily.  I have known him since the late 80's.  I have no reason to believe he would lie to me.  

          My response to 10 shootings per month is doubt.  It would mean that there are less than 3 shots fired per weekend, not including weekdays.  I'm guessing that there are many more incidents occurring than recorded.

          However, my point is the failure of the council.  They seem unwilling or unable to confront the problem of crime and violence in our community.  They spent more time on the salt dome at the last council meeting.  

          Two years ago, the five new aldermen promised change and an improvement in the quality of life in Evanston. The citizens of Evanston have received neither.  

          Thank you for providing a public forum to debate these problems.  I believe you provide a tremendous public service.  I can't say the same for our aldermen.

          Paul Sutter

          1. Re; Shooting / Shots fired

            In this discussion, please do not confuse shooting calls vs. shots fired calls. There are numerous shots fired calls received by the police department, as the Chief said in the council meeting. A shots fired call and a shooting call are different issues. Many people make reports of shots fired and it turns out the noise they heard was, in  fact, not a gun being fired but some other noise (fireworks, car backfires, construction, etc.). When you check the reports of shots fired handled by the police versus verified shootings, the numbers are quite different. As another poster noted, there have been three people shot this year. There have been other verified calls of people shooting guns, but make sure you are talking about verified calls of shooting guns rather than calls of shots fired.

            Also, congratulations to EPD on their quick efforts in solving the tragic death of the cab driver! Great job!!!

  13. Crime n Violence

    All the wonderful city counsel cares about is who get cuts in my ward, well I got something to tell YOU PEOPLE ARE HURTING and it will get worse, and we can dance around the root causes of crime as long as we want!

    They  wont  go  away cause you hold your hands over your eyes, I told  the economic development committee there model was and is a joke cause it only helps the connected and Mrs Burris said she take offense at  those remarks, that  they have done a fine job over this last year! HAAAAAA you are dealing with the by product of years of neglect   and you wont solve it with the police! I feel as if the Chief is doing all he can, they are asking him to solve social ills with a police model, they have done this all over the country and failed, at all but 1 thing locking up black and brown people!  Ill say this once this was a town that would look at progressive ideas when trying to solve issues, now we are a community who only see the first and simple answer! SAD and costly!! And we will lose money and people  cause we are now seen by others as the joke we have become!!   

    1. When I say hire a police chief, I don’t mean to lock people up

      I am sick of the police here because I think their attitude is that they should provide the minimum amount of oversight to control crime in middle class and upper middle class areas, and basically, the drug crews and teenagers can police themselves through their wars. They have an "us and them" attitude, and more people are falling into the "them" category every day.

      I have lived in this town for 10 years and I don't know why it is acceptable year after year that our high school sits the middle of one of the worst areas for drug dealing. The police choose to pretend that the drug trade only affects the people who are directly involved in it and act like those people's lives have less value than theirs. Meanwhile the drug trade and the gang violence that goes with it grows worse every year!

      I watched Leslie Calvin die. I don't ever want to watch someone die on the sidewalk in my neighborhood again, and if it takes a couple of cops standing 24/7 on every street corner on Howard, then so be it. What Eddington and his troops are doing now isn't working, so let's find someone with some new ideas.

  14. Understanding crime prevention in Evanston

    To understand how our EPD works and what they do to prevent crime in our city, sign up for the next session of the Citizen Police Academy….ride along with an officer, learn how they work with young people, understand the limits of their authority.  If we do our jobs as community residents…befriending our neighbors and their kids, calling 911 when we see something suspicious,keeping our cars and homes locked, and respecting one another, they can do their jobs effectively.

  15. Its always one sided

    The police wouldn't have to write a majority of those tickets if petty people would stop calling and requesting officers to come and write them.  Or the numerous occasions officers' time is being wasted checking up on leaf blowers, among many other ridiculous calls.  If you are so concerned with keeping the officers on the street working the beats then stop wasting their time with petty calls.  The Chief is doing a great job. Ultimately it wouldn't matter who was in that office.  Crime isn't going to magically disappear.  Would you like to pay more taxes so that more officer can be hired and less ticket revenue is needed? NO! You want 1 officer to suddenly turn into 3 officers and do 3 times the work.  Sounds like most of the posters on here need to get seriously educated on how police calls and services work in our city.  Step up and take some responsibility.  In the end these officers and firefighters are willing to put their life one the line to watch out for your families and property.  Are they all perfect? No, but who is.  I think you all take for granted how it must feel to run into the situation when everyone else is running out.  Start using your heads instead of running your mouths.

  16. It’s a shame

    hi, i live in rogers park, and travel thru evanston quite frequently.

    evanston is the land of the have and have nots, as are all places in America and the world.

    the have nots will always be controlled by the have's no matter what race

    the police can only do so much. their job is to enforce the law, thats all. they are not here to figure out the reason why people commit crimes. they don't care, and nor should they care.

    the individual who did this crime is most likely a have not of society, as was probably the cab driver. its the poor being pitted against the poor.

    it should not matter the reason why, this unknown individual committed this crime against the taxi driver. the only thing that should matter, is that they catch this animal, and put him away behind bars, where he belongs. this individual is beyond rehabilitation. this individual is a danger to our society, and should not be walking our streets.

    i hope Evanston PD catch this perp, and let the wheels of justice roll.

    1. The poor have morals too

      You said "the individual who did this crime is most likely a have not of society, as was probably the cab driver. its the poor being pitted against the poor."

      You seem to think the poor cannot have a moral standard.  Whether a person is rich or poor they have a moral sense—the question is whether they ignore it.

      Some seem to think they are in a bad situation that they are stuck forever.  Those who fail are those who look back and pity themselves [yes they may have disadvantages, discriminated against etc.] but those to go ahead look ahead to see how they can change their circumstances.  A Jesse Jackson or Ted Kennedy will tell people to wallow in their bad circumstance and that everyone is against them and they have no hope except for politicians making 'gifts' to them—that is how they keep their power.

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