Update 9:06 a.m.: Evanston police responding to a call of shots fired found a 21-year-old man on the ground and unresponsive at 1731 Leland Ave. about 11 p.m. Tuesday.

The man, identified as Cardereon Priester, 21, who lived nearby at 1742 Leland, was taken to Evanston Hospital’s emergency room where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott says Priester had been shot once in the upper torso from behind and that police believe he was his assailant’s intended target.

Police are trying to locate witnesses and are reviewing video surveillance camera footage from the area. They’re asking anyone with information to call the police department at 847-866-500 or use the Text-a-Tip program by texting to CRIMES (274637) and typing EPD TIP in the message line along with the tip information.

Priester was arrested on burglary and battery charges in separate incidents last year.

The shooting scene is about two blocks from Evanston Township High School.

Priester had recently participated in activities of the  city’s Youth & Young Adult Program Division. In a note posted to the division’s website, he thanks the service for helping him get a seasonal job on the maintenance crew at the Bryn Mawr Country Club. 

Update 7:08 a.m.: A 21-year-old man was shot and killed outside his home in the the 1700 block of Leland Avenue in Evanston overnight.

The medical examiner’s office reports the man was taken to Evanston Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 11:25 p.m. The man has not been named, pending notification of relatives.

WLS-TV is reporting the man’s death, but Evanston police haven’t yet responded to calls for comment.

In the pre-dawn hours today police were seen knocking on doors in the neighborhood to ask residents whether they’d heard or seen anything related to the incident and crime scene tape was stretched across Leland near the intersection with Lyons Street.

The scene is on Evanston’s west side near the Evanston Township High School athletic field.

Original story 4:01 a.m.: Evanston police are on the scene at this hour of what an area resident says was a shooting incident overnight on Leland Avenue near Lyons Street on Evanston’s west side.

While a police spokesman was not available to provide confirmation, crime scene tape was stretched across the street and officers were knocking on doors of neighbors about 3:30 this morning to ask whether they had heard or seen anything related to the incident.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Do these victims really know each other?

    Sem Adrien killed in Kansas this week. Now it appears the victim from Leland is Facebook friends with Sem Adrien and Blake Ross… a victim from earlier this summer.

    I wonder who traveled from Evanston to Kansas earlier this week?

    And as usual, why on earth are young men, who should be job seekers, leaving their public Facebook pages full of photos that any employer or landlord would find objectionable or disqualifying?

    Also, when you look through his collection of friends, I see many recognizable and long-time members of our Evanston community and I have to assume that the older ones are trying to encourage the younger ones to be more responsible.

    Somehow, it seems like many members of our community are aware of the anti-social behaviors within their own families, but are powerless or unwilling or weary to appeal to the hearts and minds of our youth to make better choices.

    No doubt, many moms, dads, uncles, cousins, aunts, etc.are trying their best to encourage their family members to make better choices, but sometimes the call of street life or gang life is too strong.  I wish that I understood more about the family, social, and educational dynamics that tolerates many of our youth to engage in questionable behaviors.

    My boys are not teenagers yet, but I'm very concerned about what I am going to face when they become teenagers and young adults.  I pray for strength, wisdom, and resolve for my wife and I to guide them to the best of our abilities.

    So sad another young life has been taken.

    1. Eloquent

      "…Somehow, it seems like many members of our community are aware of the anti-social behaviors within their own families, but are powerless or unwilling or weary to appeal to the hearts and minds of our youth to make better choices. No doubt, many moms, dads, uncles, cousins, aunts, etc. are trying their best to encourage their family members to make better choices, but sometimes the call of street life or gang life is too strong. I wish that I understood more about the family, social, and educational dynamics that [cause] many of our youth to engage in questionable behaviors."

      Thank you for your eloquently written concern and reflection about why some minority youth in Evanston choose to engage in such self-defeating behaviors, especially during the times of their lives when they should be focusing on creating a strong educational and moral foundation for adulthood stability and success. 

    2. A small town

      It is a small town — of course everybody knows everyone.

      Don't act surprised to hear they know each other — just as you and your family know your neighbors, so do these young men.

      Don't ask questions that have nothing to do with the incident unless it's praying for the victim's family.

    3. Politicians continue to ignore the real problem

      Yep, and our elected politicians will again lay blame on guns and propose measures for more gun control. They will NOT introduce any solutions to the real problem of the gang culture that has infested our permissive nation.  

      It's not just the gang culture but also an acceptance of single motherhood. Teenagers having and raising children on their own. Just look at Priester's FB page. It is an eye opener. If my son had that crap on FB it would be WW3 in my household.

      Single parents regardless of race dramitically increase the chances of living below the poverty line. If you want to end poverty then end the surge of women having babies out of wedlock.

      Just before Johnson's Great Society legislation passed, 75 percent of black babies in America were born to married parents. The reverse is now true and we have seen the affects of the welfare generation. Who's talking about that? 

      D202 officials and Evanston police can't even adjust to potentially dangerous situations because community members living near ETHS oppose any kind of frisk and search to try and stop violence before it happens. It's just a matter of time that someone is shot on or near ETHS' campus during shool hours. THERE IS A GANG PRESENCE AROUND ETHS!!!! HELLO?

      It's time we hold our politicians accountable for ignoring the real problems that will probably take a generation to solve once it is correctly defined. You can not solve a problem until you correctly define it. 

      My guess is there is some kind of gang war going on in Evanston. Meanwhile, most Evanston parents stick it out and work hard to make a better life for their kids. If folks around the high school continue to cast blame and play the victim it's time the rest of us take action. Form groups, choose folks among us to run for office and do things that address the real problem. 

      Otherwise, it will be the same as it ever was. It's only going to get worse if nothing of significance is done.

      Next time, it could be your son that is shot from an errant bullet or got caught up in the wrong crowd at the wrong time. If that ever happens, I ask you, who's at fault?

    4. Wow, that was great detective

      Wow, that was great detective work on your part. You have singlehandedly solved this murder and handed the police an airtight case.

      By your assumptions, any one in his facebook circle is suspect and the untimely demise of two of his "friends" support that premise.

      In the same vein he was in the same graduating class as my daughter, so since we are obviously playing six degrees of separation, she should either be a suspect or be on the watch out.

      These people who are getting killed have nothing to do with you. Raise your children the best way that you know how, and hopefully they will not find themselves facing down a gun or running away from it at any time during their lifetime.

      All I am saying is that these things happen, and in a small town like ours these incidents gets magnified. Rampant speculation just serves to drive the frenzy that is sure to erupt in the coming days.

      1. Six degrees of separation

        Thanks for your comment.  I understand Facebook connections between community members in a small town and sometimes there is no inference or connection that can be made between Facebook "friends", however, it does not seem to be coincidence that Sem Adrien, Blake Ross, and now Cordereon Priester have the same type garbage and filth on their Facebook accounts: weird hand signals, cussing, gun play, cash glorification, drug references, etc.

        Now we find out that someone close to Cordereon is sad for his children… I am too, but I cannot understand why a 21 year-old is going to be the  "main-man" in his daughter's life, when he has such foolishness on his Facebook account, furthermore, what type of job can one get to support a family, when it appears that they do not have enough sense to scrub their Facebook accounts or even make them private.  It is even sadder that after one's demise, their Facebook account lives on. Family members cannot even access these accounts without a password or some type of court order.

        I have family members in other states that have this "garbage and foolishness" on their Facebook accounts and I would not dare "friend" them or allow them to "friend" my account.  I am under the impression that many in our Evanston community are too tolerant of anti-social, abusive, and delinquent behaviors by our youth.

        These people who are getting killed have everything to do with me. As a member of the Evanston community, it is heartbreaking to see people constantly engaged in behaviors that will increase their chance of being a murder victim and even more, perhaps I'll be driving by or riding my bike down the street only to have some "kid" shoot and miss the target, but hit me.

        1. Dude, how much time do you spend on facebook?

          Seriously, are you friends with these people (in which case perhaps you could have helped nudge them in a different direction) or are you a facebook stalker?

    5. Tolerating family members

      Yep, I know of a family in that immediate area whose ETHS-graduate son continuously gets arrested for things such as domestic violence, armed robbery and possession of drugs.

      We see him selling drugs outside the family home — putting his little brother, his baby son, his family and all the neighbors in harms way. But they bail him out and let him come home every time!

  2. Wow

    Good thing we didn't pass the safe school zone. Police need to get it together and actually attempt to stop and solve the crime.

    Evanston is on the verge of going to Rodgers Park type area. What that means: good bye rich people, good bye business that rely on them, goodbye Evanston being a kind of nice area.

    1. Same old line

      I've been hearing about Evanston going down the tubes ever since moving here in 1975.  Such doomsday thinking is as annoying as hearing about these youth murders. 

      I'm sure many "Rodgers" (sic) Park residents wouldn't appreciate you discounting their community, either.

    2. Evanston is on the verge

      "Evanston is on the verge of going to Rodgers Park type area. What that means: good bye rich people, good bye business that rely on them, goodbye Evanston being a kind of nice area."

      I think these comments are pretty naive in regards to Evanston being on a downward slope. I have lived in the Penny Park Neighborhood for the last 12 years and the neighborhood is on the periphery of the “Safe Zone”.

      I have only watched my property value go up, I’ve seen crime decrease and the demographic of the neighborhood change.  I can firmly say that east of Dodge has only gentrified and will only continue to do so.  If you live in Northwest Evanston and disagree, come see for yourself.

      But your point is well taken in a “Chicken Little” sort of way.  If this stuff continues at this rate people are going to be less willing to let their kids go to ETHS. When the school system fails, property values fall. A safe zone is needed!
      As for the gang bangers and their supporters, please take your crime elsewhere and “leave those kids alone!" (Gosh, it's naive of me to think those gang bangers actually are reading this).

  3. What does an arrest

    What the hell does an arrest from a year ago have to do with this man losing his life. Media outlets blow my mind when they add insult to injury!

  4. Keep praying and keep your

    Keep praying and keep your kids in check.  Teach them to respect others even if they dont like the other person. Teach them to be the better person and rub it off their shoulder.

    It is sad that young men are killing each other because their parents didnt raise them right, with love and attention.  Many innocent teens have been killed due to these acts and I don't want innocent children in danger.   This man has been arrested for battery and burglary (what kind of person are you if you go into someones home without permission?).  He must be doing other bad things that led to his death (doesn't make it right), but it happens.  These kind of things would not be happening in Winnetka. Police in Winnetka will not tolerate these events.  They would work 24/7, to get these bad guys off the streets and to get the communities good reputation back..

    Evanston police know what homes are the problem homes. They should have surveillance on these homes, and they should already know who controls the drugs in Evanston, they are from Panama.

    Get the drugs out and slowly the problems will get better.

    Police need to put more pressure in Evanston. Evanston police need to be held accontable for every unsolve crime.

    Get the FBI down here! Evanston is such a beautiful place with beautiful, hard-working people, good schools and historical homes! Evanston deserves a better environment for its community.

    1. Reply to: Keep praying

      Everytime there is a murder or something violent takes place in Evanston, people like to say it's going downhill or they need to move because it's a horrible city.  You do realize that violence occurs everywhere and leaving here and moving somewhere else is not going to solve the problem?  It is still, in many ways a great place to live.  People like to place blame on other people in situations like these.  The victim is blamed because of an arrest, criminal history or what they choose to put on social media.  The police are blamed for not doing there job.  So, because this person was arrested for battery and burglary, it is ok for him to be the victim of a murder?  No one has the right to take the life of another person regardless of their history.  In addition, Evanston is not Winnekta.  It irritates me when people compare the things that Evanston does or doesn't do to surrounding communities.  Evanston is not the surrounding communities.  There are different demographics, different people, different experiences between Evanston and Winnekta and If you feel like they do such are better job policing why don't you live there?  Yes, it is likely that Evanston police know who is committing crimes and which homes are "problem homes," but if the community does not speak up and follow through the entire criminal justice process then there is not much the police can do.  Evanston like most places has never and will never be a utopian community.

  5. Reply to: ‘Wow’

    What does the school safe zone have to do with this? And why do you assume the police aren't "stopping and attempting to solve the crime"?

    Every time something in Evanston happens people look to blame someone else.

    Why don't you blame the person who decided to pick up a gun and shoot another person instead of blaming the high school or the police. I'm sure a teacher, principal, security guard or police officer didn't shoot that kid.

  6. This always breaks my heart

    This always breaks my heart, as my own son who is now 24, grew up in Evanston and attended the high school. 

    The pressure to be tough, cool and dress like you have a lot of money is rampant. Hence the burglaries, robberies and senseless killing.

    How we teach our kids to be proud and confident without having to resort to peer pressure has to be a community endeavor.

    Parents — we are just as responsible for this as the person who pulled the trigger.


  7. A young man

    It is easy to judge, but much more challenging and effective to take action. Though it's surely no solace to his family at the moment, I am glad to hear that this young man was recently offered a chance to work and to see the thoughtfulness of people in his community before he was so thoughtlessly killed.

    My deepest sympathies to the family of a young man who no longer has the chance to grow, learn and move forward. My sympathies also go to our community. Don't imagine that he and his situation and his choices have nothing to do with you.  He has everything to do with all of us.

    1. Don’t imagine

      "Don't imagine that he and his situation and his choices have nothing to do with you.  He has everything to do with all of us."

      This absolutely has nothing to do with me, my family or my friends.  This has to do with him, his family and his friends and the personal choices they make.

      This is becoming a big problem with this country. It's easy to blame everyone else and take no responsibility for yourself or your situation. Have a march, yell at the police, blame the school or whatever.

      You want to know what will change things? Parents act like parents and stop acting like children. They need to educate their children to get jobs and stay off the streets. It's all pretty simple, it just takes work and personal responsibility.

  8. Perception = Reality

    Yet another murder in Evanston.  As a law abiding citizen I find this to be abhorent and blight on our community.  Wait a few weeks or month — there will another. 

    No — Evanston is not going down the "tubes" folks.  Real estate values are up…our parks are beautiful…school officials work hard to educate our kids…NU has a stellar national reputation. 

    Of course the media reports a murder in Evanston.  Violence draws attention and increases ratings.  But for anyone outside of Evanston the perception is that we are a violent town. 

    Clearly we have a certain element of low-life society in our midst that finds violence a way of life.  Once a young man joins up with the bad guys…gets arrested…spends time in jail — then his life is over.  Many of these misfits move back into the communtiy…sponge on releatives and look for the next hit. 

    I — as well as the vast majority of readers here — could care less about the cousins — or the family feud that spawned this.  It's a murder folks. 

    NOT acceptable to society.

    How sad that the neighborhood that fosters this behavior is so close to ETHS.  The City should get tough and create an enforceable program that rids us of the criminals.

  9. No message to parents from ETHS or MLK Jr. school

    I find it shocking that the schools in proximity of this murder have no comment today regarding school safety…how about some reassurance for the parents?  Just another day in the neighborhood I guess…

  10. Random thoughts

    Where are the jobs in evanston for young black men? I wonder if evanston businesses actually hired black men from Evanston full time instead of thinking every person from that area is a low life criminal, the younger generation would have jobs to focus on and not the streets…which means they wouldnt have thoughts like "how am I going to eat today" "where am I going to get money from to buy what i need to survive?"

    On the west-end of Evanston you can come outside and see neighbors, people you goto school with or have gone to school with selling drugs everyday effortlessly….that young black man who has filled out many job applications just to get turned down might just ask that guy he sees selling drugs everyday "how can i get some money too? these jobs wont hire me" and fall into a drug lifestyle and never get out….think about it…there is nothing productive for these kids to do in their area…why do you think they do the things they do? for fun? not everyone is born into a good family that will teach them to make the right choices…just my thoughts…ive already typed more than i wanted to…

    1. The Mayor’s Summer Youth

      The Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program interviewed a few hundred young people…many were minorities….they were awesome!

      They have bright futures, are interested in furthering their education, were personable, hard working, and had great attitudes.   I'm sure a lot of these teenagers did not come from "great" families, have money, and opened doors for them. Anyone who really tries to make a way for themselves, will find a way to do so….it takes positive energy to commit yourself to being successful, no matter what your goals are., or how long it takes.

      Good parents, lousy parents, absent parents……each and every person needs to find within their hearts (and minds) what they want from their lives, no matter what their circumstances, and go after it.

      Goals and dreams are great things that can turn into realities. Seek help from great friends, school counselors, your local churches/temples, leaders in your community, and ask for mentoring and guidance…..be a volunteer….make sure that people know who you are, and that you are willing to commit to succeed.

      You may be surprised at the outcome!  


      1. That youth program

        That youth program is a joke.  Sure they interview lots of kids but there is still a lot of favoritism.

        1. Were you there interviewing

          Were you there interviewing those kids? There is a set number of jobs available, with a couple of hundred more who apply. That means not everyone will get hired.

          Favoritism? Those who make a great presentation, appear eager to work, interview well, and have a good resume, certainly would be considered "favorites". It's that way in any job.   

          We did interviews for two days…a few hundred kids. I probably saw about 4 familiar faces. The selections came about from the interviewers' comments and recommendations…..sounds like possibly someone you knew who went hoping to get hired, didn't.

        2. Holding people back

          Your attitude is exactly what would hold a child back and make them have an attitude that will turn them to the streets and die!  Not saying your opinion is wrong (I don't know) just saying it is "your opinion" that will hold back your child, turn your child to the streets and kill your child! 

      2. Yep!

        Both my parents abandond me as a new born. My mentally-ill grandparents raised me. I am raising two junior high boys as a single mother and I bet they won't be in a gang or selling drugs on someone's sidewalk in Evanston.

    2. Random response

      I raised two young black men and they never viewed the street life as a way to make a living. This young man had a job. I don't think its right to blame the fact that black men have a tougher time getting a job as a reason why this unfortunate murder happened.

      There is a lure to the street life for some young people. The job of parents and society is to make street life undesirable. I never gave my kids an option other than going to on college. They always had to be involved in organized sports or music or what ever they desired.

      If I didn't cave the money we got a scholarship. There are plenty of scholarships for kids who want to participate. It's time to break the cylce with educating the adults in their lives. Raise your kids with the notion it will be more difficult that is why you have to perform and be better. You just don't throw the towel in before you even try.

      1. Just holding people back

        This is the truth.  People making excuses are just holding the people they speak of, back!

  11. Don’t ask questions

    Don't ask questions that have nothing to do with the incident unless it's praying for the victim's family.


    There's a murder in my community, and you say shut up, don't ask questions?  Here's one problem: treating these killings as isolated incidents, one having nothing to do with the other, and don't you dare try to think about common threads, that lead young men into violence.

    No thank you, I'll ask questions instead of pretending there are no questions to be asked.

  12. Template for Evanston crime

    • Another Evanstonian falls pray in a tragic shooting.
    • People from that immediate community pray while calling on everyone else to fix it.
    • People from outside that community call for those from that community to fix it.
    • Northsiders insist the city is going down the tubes.
    • Hipster parents from "newly gentrified areas" insist things are getting better.
    • Everyone demands more laws while complaining how much existing laws aren't working.


  13. Used to live there

    I used to live in the immediate area and "got out"!  I allowed my son to go over that (Leland & Church) way the other day and told him specifically "Do not go down Leland to Emerson to McCormick. Take Church/Leland to McCormick and get to McCormick as fast as you can (out of the war zone)!"

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