Evanston police say a man was shot in the parking lot of the IHOP restaurant at Howard and Asbury at dawn this morning after he denied being a gang member.

Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan says several people were in the lot about 5:05 a.m. when a man walked up and asked the victim, a 25-year-old Beach Park man, what gang he belonged to.

When the victim denied belonging to any gang, the assailant, described as a black male in his 20s with a medium build and wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, pulled out a handgun and shot the victim three times — in the torso, arm and leg.

The gunman fled the scene in a grey vehicle. By the time police arrived, the victim had already gone to the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital.

Dugan says the victim’s wounds are not considered life-threatening and that detectives are currently following up on several credible leads.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Evanston Police Department detective bureau at (847) 866-5040 or use Text-A-Tip by texting CRIMES (274637) and entering EPDTIP in the message line followed by the tip.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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