A large contingent of Evanston Police officers were seen along the CTA tracks in downtown Evanston about 6 p.m. Thursday.

Purple Line service was disrupted for a time, and as of 6:40 p.m. the CTA was reporting significant delays because of police activity.

A police officer on the CTA viaduct at Clark Street.

In Twitter posts, the police department urged residents to avoid the areas of Church Street and Maple Avenue, Church Street and Benson Avenue and Clark Street and Benson Avenue.

But the department also said, “There are no active threats to the public at this time.”

Deputy Police Chief Melissa Sacluti tells Evanston Now that a citizen called police to report a man with a gun in the area.

When police arrived on the scene, she says, the man fled onto the CTA tracks. Police called the CTA to turn off the power and stop train traffic and chased after the man.

She says they eventually managed to take the man into custody without injury.

She says police had cleared the area by about 7 p.m.

Update 7/14/23: The person arrested by police Thursday evening, Shawn Raymond, 31, who’s last known address was in the 600 block of Hull Terrace, was charged Friday with felony unlawful use of a weapon and with misdemeanors for possession of ammunition without a firearm owners identification card and trespass to CTA property.

In a news release Friday police said the police response began about 5:36 p.m. Thursday after a citizen in the 900 block of Davis Street reported seeing a man remove a handgun with an extended magazine from a backpack, place the handgun back into the backpack and walk away from the area.

After a chase, Raymond was taken into custody on the CTA embankment in the 1700 block of Maple Avenue.

Police say he was found to be in possession of a bullet and that a search of the area led to the recovery of a handgun with an extended magazine in a large flower pot in the 900 block of Church Street, along the path Raymond used as he fled.

Raymond is scheduled to appear at a bond hearing in the Cook County Court at 26th and California in Chicago on Saturday.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. So the guy didn’t actually harm or threaten anyone? This sounds like an overreaction. Felony use of a weapon is misleading as he didn’t actually use it. Doesn’t say that he’s a felon, or whether he has a record. Nothing that indicates him actually being a threat.

    1. Hi TK,
      Perhaps you should read the relevant statute, 720 ILCS 5/24-1.
      It’s a bear to get through, but you will find that because the alleged offense took place took place “on any public way within 1,000 feet of the real property … of a public transportation facility” — i.e., the CTA — a Class 3 felony charge was appropriate.
      — Bill

    2. I am curious if you think driving drunk is also an act that doesn’t harm or threaten anyone? Engaging in precursor behavior to serious offenses is arguably just as bad as the “harmful” offense itself. Illegally carrying around guns, especially by people who have proven to society that they are a danger to others, the exact act that leads to gun violence. I’m sure TK is also of the same ilk that is screaming for “gun reform” without having a shred of understanding of what gun violence looks like in our community.

    3. TK..you have to take up how the statute sounds with the legislature, who created it. Here in Illinois, unlawful possession of a firearm is a violation of the unlawful use of a weapon statute. Just like what other states call assault, Illinois calls battery. What you feel about the laws don’t matter as much as what they say.

  2. Going to try this again.Shawn Raymond, 31 is a REPETE OFFENDER! Evanston Now has a report of Ray doing the exact same gun trash in April of 2015, only that time he did fire an unlicensed weapon. Felons in possession of a gun is against the law, every time …….. Ya think we need to wait for the gun to be discharged to not qualify as “overreactive” Unlawful Use of a Weapon is a serious offense, the first time let alone multiple times. Disgusted that anyone could be so foolish as to think that a known offender with a gun could do nothing less that serious harm to innocent people and call it “OVERREACTIVE”

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