Two men were shot Wednesday night in the 300 block of Custer Avenue in Evanston.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, says police told her the men were shot by an unknown assailant shortly after 10 p.m.

She said the victims have been identified as Dennis Myles, 28, of 325 Custer, who was shot in the right shoulder and Kevin Ward, 21, of 2141 E. 66th St. in Chicago who was shot in the leg.

Police reportedly have recovered shell casings from the grass in front of 307 Custer and believe that the victims may have been followed from Howard and Custer by their assailant.

Rainey says both victims have extensive police records and are hospitalized for treatment of their wounds.

Update 4:30 p.m.:

Evanston police say the the gunman was wearing a dark hoodie and that the victims were trying to run away from him when they were shot.

Police say they haven’t established a clear motive for the shooting and are still looking for the gunman. They’re asking anyone with information about the incident to call the Investigations Bureau at 847-866-5040. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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18 Comments

  1. The rest of Evanston should
    The rest of Evanston should know there are shootings happening EVERYDAY in this area. People are just not getting hit everyday. Also you can see open drug deals at all hours. Many people have reported there has been an open air drug market in the 300 block of Custer for over a year now with few if any arrests.

  2. Blatant drug dealing and loitering
    Blatant drug dealing was going on in the 300 blk again today, like nothing happened last night. The police are reactive and NOT proactive, they “sweep up”, but never throughly “clean up”. The situation gets worse and worse, and yet the rest of Evanston seems to prefer to ignore it……clinging to this image of the “the hip college town by the lake”. We have a great alderman (8th ward’s Ann Rainey), who is working hard to get the resources needed and give attention to the problems we have. Quality of life for this community is just as important as for the rest of Evanston. This problem will get MUCH worse this summer without drastic police and community action.

  3. We demand better
    Since things have warmed up south Evanston has seen several fights between groups of 50+ kids, 3 people shot and 1 person stabbed. Where is the community outrage over this? Dozens of people comment on newspaper stories about the Evanston tower, hundreds come to meetings to protest the tower – in the meantime, your neighbors in the south part of town are battling gangs and violence. Will someone please tell me why this is ignored by the rest of the city? Why do the people in the north care more about sustainability initiatives and development than basic safety?

    1. People care about what’s
      People care about what’s happening in their neighboorhood. So that means people in South Evanston (including me) need to start making some noise to their city officials. If we tolerate it, it will continued to happen! We’ll have only ourselve to blame for not speaking up!

  4. Where is Alderman Eb Moran?
    A few months ago, when he spoke out against a gang loitering ordinance (and helped defeat it), Alderman Eb Moran said that the city needed a personal, interaction approach for known gang members and their associates.

    Where are those actions? What has he done to help this area of town?

    All he knows how to do is tout low income housing (for all areas of town other than his own) and preach about how this part of town should just tolerate this criminal behavior and other antisocial activities.

    We need action, not lectures, from City Council. Unfortunately, Ann Rainey can’t do it all by herself. SHE NEEDS OTHERS TO VOTE FOR COMMON SENSE PROTECTIONS FOR ALL OF OUR CITIZENS.

    Time to go to the Chicago newspapers and TV stations with this horrible news. Will Alderman Moran be ashamed when part of his utopia is unmasked as a crime-ridden pit complete with open drug dealing, group fights, stabbings and shootings? Oh, what will his friends in Wilmette and Kenilworth think when they hear that there are such unsavory activities in Mr. Moran’s own town?

    I think that the Tribune needs a quote from Alderman Moran about his personal, interaction approach and how it’s working. I think that I’ll point that out to the Tribune and the TV stations.

  5. Violence out of control
    In the past week, I’ve heard gunshots off of Howard and two nights ago some guys were shot right next to our building. What’s going on here? Why has city council written off the south end of Evanston???

  6. It’s Bad
    I saw some madras wearing 7th/8th graders following a guy on a cell phone into the neighborhood today. Mr. CellPhone went into a building, telling the kids to wait.

    Just minutes ago the nicest group of people in a car were waiting for two friends to come out of the drug house, then drove off.

    Last week I called the cops to break up one of those 40 kid fights in our parking lot.

    I’m so sick of this neighborhood. I’m so sick of Evanston. So I’m moving in a few months. I just hope nobody in my family gets shot before we can get out. And I feel sick for my neighbors and friends who are going to have to live through a summer of drugs and violence here in South Evanston.

  7. End it
    What can be done about this? I certainly don’t think that the city council could make any difference unless they want to start a conversation about the failure that is the war on drugs. End the war on drugs, encourage children to not have children until they are adults and urge fathers to remain involved with their children. These kids desperately need strong father figures in their lives. In the meantime pursue a policy of containment. I can imagine that the city is probably resigned to just trying to keep the thugs from spreading their disease to other parts of the city.

    1. End It? Yes!!!!
      The City Council could do plenty but has done nothing to help make this part of town more livable.

      Many of us who live in this area know that what you have observed is the truth:

      “I can imagine that the city is probably resigned to just trying to keep the thugs from spreading their disease to other parts of the city.”

      That attitude by the City is despicable and must be brought to an end. The City must stop seeing this area of town as a “throw away” to be turned over to the gang bangers and drug dealers.

      The open air drug dealing in the 300 block of Custer must stop. Residents see it every day, yet the police have meekly whimpered that they “see nothing.”

      Why is it okay for that illegal activity to take place in the 300 block of Custer every day? Is that the City and the police don’t want the drug dealers to head further north in Evanston, where Northwestern students and important people with money live? When those people have guns pulled on them, it makes the Chicago TV news.

  8. Defining Irony
    Here’s an ironic one. A group of concerned citizens were meeting with the Alderman Ann Rainy and police officers at Elk’s Park to discuss what can possibly be done about the shoot-em-up Thursday night in my back alley, and what shout sound out from across the tracks? Five, oh maybe six gun shots! So the police dash off and I had the most intense feeling of despair.

    Judge Myers (not sure of spelling). The Judge is postponing and postponing hearings on a drug house in the neighborhood. His name was mentioned at the meeting. This really sticks in my mind as crucial. The police can arrest and document, but when the prosecutors and judges don’t DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE to shut down the drug and gang activity, well, there’s nothing the citizens and police can hope for but more violence, more theft, more harrassment, and more danger for our neighbors and friends.

    Who, what, how? Make it stop!

  9. police should LIVE here
    I think this is the perfect time for Evanston to require as other cities do that police and fire personnel live in the city they work in. If police work and LIVE in Evanston they will take a more proactive stance against this kind of problem. It has been shown that was the case in many other cities that have adopted this idea.
    I posed this idea to several councilman who either did not respond or simply shrugged it off as non-workable (it has worked elsewhere). But if enough people get behind it and demand it from their reps something might happen. After all, Evanston is paying a pretty penny for the fire and police pension. We’re giving something to them that no one in the private sector would ever get. So, let’s make them give back to the community by BECOMING part of the community and living in our fair city. I assure you crime would drop if the bad guys know cops live in the area.
    Anonymous Al

    1. Police residency rules
      Dear Anonymous Al ,

      While I have been a great admirer of your previous writings, I must disagree with you on this one – at least partially.

      The problem with requiring policemen and firemen to live here is that it will greatly reduce the number of qualified recruits that we get. Unless we are going to provide them with housing, it is very difficult for someone to afford to live in this city on a starting policeman’s or fireman’s salary. We would have to dramatically increase salaries.

      Now some cities have provided houses to policemen – in their undesirable neighborhoods – if they are willing to live there. This might work in Evanston, too.

      I think that a bigger issue is what we can do to fix the high-crime neighborhoods. While policing is certainly a necessary part of the solution, the bigger problem is the lack of economic development. We need to fight crime by promoting economic development throughout the city – and beyond.

      While the downtown development and proposed tower are a good start, there are plenty of opportunities for development on the south and west parts of the city. We must relax the odious regulation that prevents creation of new businesses, and relax the overly strict zoning that prevents economic growth in the neighborhoods . ( See this story for an example of shameful overregulation )

      Economic growth and progress must not be limited to the City of Evanston. We cannot have a nice south side if our neighbor to the south, Rogers Park, is impoverished and decaying. Therefore, development and growth must be encouraged in Rogers Park too.

      The problem, of course, is the NIMBY’s. We have seen how they are fighting economic growth throughout Evanston, most notably with the tower. Not only does this prevent the creation of jobs, but the reduced tax revenue makes it more difficult for the city to hire more policemen, or pay them more, get them the latest equipment, or even buy them houses to live in in the 8th ward.

      Not only that, but they also distract the Council’s attention from real problems ( crime, taxes, budget deficit) when they focus on selfish pet projects ( No Tower! , Save the Civic Center!, Zoning R1 Continuity! , No Incinerator! , Save the elms! ). Perhaps the reason that none of the aldermen had time to address this issue when you brought it up is that they were inundated with petitions about the tower or Civic Center or some other distraction.

      So, I agree that it would be good if cops lived in the city. But we can’t pay them enough to buy big houses up north, where they could put ‘Stop the tower’ signs on their lawns. But if it can be done at a reasonable price, I think that it would be a great idea to provide them with houses (probably rent them for $1/month – or even pay them to live there ) in the more troubled neighborhoods. If this were voluntary , it would also get less resistance from the police.

      Mr. Who Knows

  10. Three shootings this week
    Saturday evening’s shooting, which took place just south of Howard, is the third shooting where victims were identified in the past week. (The victim, said to be a Vice Lord, has died.) Last Sunday, a man was shot on the south side of Howard Street, near Custer. Another man who went to Weiss Hospital with gunshot wounds may have also been involved in this incident. Combined with the Custer Ave. shooting, this brings us to five men with bullet holes in one week. Plus, neighbors in SE Evanston have been hearing gun shots almost nightly for nearly two weeks.

    People all over Evanston should be outraged about these incidences of violence — on both sides of Howard. They are occurring just blocks away from the homes of members of our community. The neighborhood is not a ghetto — it’s far from it. No one should have to live in this atmosphere.

  11. Dear Mr. Who Knows,
    Dear Mr. Who Knows,
    I agree with most of what you said, too. And I wouldn’t be opposed to offering some kind of special incentive to police and fire personnel to live in Evanston. That’s a really interesting idea.The solutions in part to the crime in those areas revolve around economic development -there’s no doubt. And the NIMBY’s have sucked the focus away to inane and trite causes. However, I’m not so sure that police or firemen can not afford to live in Evanston. The housing stock is diversified – you can buy a home in some areas under 250k. You can buy a condo under 125k. Or, you can rent for less than $1,000 per month. There are a lot of choices and price ranges. If this were Kenilworth or Lake Forest that would be a different story. I don’t think the salary would be as much as an issue as the requirement itself. But it works in Chicago and a few northwest suburbs. But I think maybe something in the middle would work, too. I understand about 95 percent of the Evanston police force do not live in Evanston. I think it would be a worthy cause to try and reduce that number by 50 percent. Just think of the benefits to the community.
    Anonymous Al

    1. Where are the public benefits?
      “”I understand about 95 percent of the Evanston police force do not live in Evanston. I think it would be a worthy cause to try and reduce that number by 50 percent. Just think of the benefits to the community.”
      —-Anonymous Al

      That’s it! “benefits to the community”….or “public benefits”! I think that you have struck gold, Anonymous Al !

      Having cops living in our neighborhoods is a public benefit!
      Zoning variances require ‘public benefits’!

      Does everyone see where this is going?

      Instead of forcing developers to contribute to this ‘affordable housing’ fund that doesn’t do any good, we ask them to provide a ‘public benefit’ in the form of some units that the city would own and make available to cops and firemen at a reduced or even free rate.

      Now we could build that tower downtown. Public benefit? Let’s have a cop living on the fifth floor.

      Townhouses at the old Kendall place? A young police officer and his family would like that.

      And I am sure that there is at least one firefighter would would enjoy the short commute (3 minute walk) from the Central St. condos to Station # 3.

      This might also help bring out the silent majority. Instead of just NIMBY’s coming to the council meetings, dozens of neighbors who want a cop living next door would clamor for MORE development in their back yards.

      Mr. Who Knows

      { Off topic: Mr. Who Knows is disappointed to see that Bravo is replacing Wolfgang Puck. While he did not like Puck’s, Bravo is not much better. Still, they will be generating tax revenue, which is good – and we must respect market forces. Does anyone know what is going into the former Active Endeavors / Baja Fresh, or the former Poppins residence on Sherman? }

  12. Parents, where are you?
    Of course, most of the happenings are not being performed by only underage kids, and the problems spill over all types of boundaries. But I ask the parents… WHERE ARE YOU??? We need to parent our kids, we need to grab them by their necks and do all we can to teach responsibility, respect towards others and towards themselves. Make them responsible for their actions at a young age at school but most importantly at HOME… useless repeating the usual, parents get up and teach your kids what’s right, the alternative is not pretty at all.

  13. Put the news in the papers
    As the story goes many years ago several groups in the community complained about the presence of gangs in Evanston. The ‘then’ city council was in doubt about gangs being as prevalent as the community organizations claimed them to be so they asked Northwestern University to do a study as assess the facts about gangs. N orthwestern did the study, researched the very same organizations that said we had gangs and then determined that yes we had a gang problem, and oh by the way, that will be $10,000, thank you very much.
    Now when the Evanston Review ran several articles over several weeks about this gang problem the realtors got upset and threatened to pull those full page ads you see all the time. The stories about gangs stopped and now we have this digest approach to report crime as if its not much different than reporting the weather.
    Try this, instead of meeting in a park down on Mulford, plan a march right down one of the main thoroughfares from Howard to Isabella. Carry pictures of victims of crimes, trumpet the news from the housetops. Try it, just try it and you’ll get turned down faster than a Virgina Slims Tennis Match

  14. Our House in the Middle of our Street
    Okay, we’ll say it: We live in SW Evanston and get along pretty well with each other. We try to, anyway. We could care less about black, white, yellow or green, and enjoy doing yardwork. There’s no For Sale signs in our front yards because we can actually afford to live in our houses. Wish we could say the same for those in the northern climes. Their bubble is littered with those signs. Aside from few a windy intellects (and from whence does that overblown wind originate, hmmm?), Evanston’s a pretty decent place to live. As for those unrepentant dopers and their little toadies, we know they’re around. There’s a drug house just down the street from us. We know what they’re up to and, worse still, they know we know it. Your days of double-parking are numbered. Know why? because we care about our neighborhood. That gives us staying power. We’re a lot tougher than you give us credit for. Look out [De Niro gesture, here] we’ve got our eyes on you.

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