Evanston police have taken five youths into custody for questioning after a shooting shortly after 4 o’clock this afternoon at the McDonalds on Dempster Street near Dodge Avenue.

The 16-year-old victim in the shooting, reportedly an Evanston Township High School student, is being treated at Evanston Hospital for a single gunshot wound to his left midsection.

The suspects in the shooting reportedly fled southeast from the scene, split up, and were taken into custody on Dewey Avenue and Darrow Avenue within a few blocks from the restaurant.

Police cars parked on Dewey Avenue near where officers say they caught a suspect in the shooting and found a gun found under a wooden deck of a house.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Tom Guenther, who was among the large number of officers on the scene, said police also obtained video surveillance camera footage from the restaurant which is being evaluated.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Shooting

    What was the purpose of the robo calls regarding this incident.? Another example of the waste of time and resources…not to mention another annoying call.

    1. Hmm, let’s see … maybe to

      Hmm, let's see … maybe to provide information and prevent panic?

  2. Emergency Notification?

    Just got the notification from the city's emergency system. Phone call at 6.39pm; Email arrived at 6.48pm.  For those interested, a firearm was recovered in a nearby backyard under a deck, as well as surveillance video.

    Now, I appreciate the information but is this honestly an emergency?  Couldn't this wait for the evening news? Tomorrow's birdcage liners? "Persons of interest" are already in custody,  firearm has been recovered, and EPD already has video being evaluated for evidence.

    Seems to me the system is being used to publicize the EPD doing a good job or an excuse to push more anti-gun FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) propaganda to the general public.

    Either way, I don't understand how a press release would be considered an emergency.

    1. “Reverse 9-1-1”

      The uses and misuses of "Reverse 9-1-1" is a hotly debated subject among the communities that utilize the systems. Often, the problem is not the message that's being conveyed, but the verbiage within them. The notification of the McDonald's shooting was clearly not an "emergency", but merely a public informational (news) message which I assume was intended to prevent panic. There was no offender at large, and no immediate threat to the public. Using charged phrases like "emergency message" could unnecessarily create a sense of fear among the recipients of the message and cause them to call 9-1-1 to get more information, which the system is designed to prevent. "Reverse 9-1-1" is a valuable tool for notifying the public during emergency situations, but greater caution needs to be exercised when deploying it.   It's not what you say, it's how you say it.

      1. After reviewing my comments

        After reviewing my comments and the comments of others, I commend the City for this notification. One cannot underestimate the impact of gun violence in Evanston, and the concern of residents living in the affected neighborhoods. I merely suggest that the distinction be made between "emergency" messages and "informational" messages when the Reverse 911 system is deployed.  -Matt

  3. umm the shooting?

    I go to school in evanston and when ever evanstons on the news its mostly about shooting. on the subject of the shooting, i went to this mcdonald at about 3:45 after school and when me and my mom drove off we saw another car pull in but we didnt pay any attention to them.

  4. Shooting today

    I have a two students at ETHS. I live 5 blocks from the incident.  I appreciated both Robo calls from ETHS and from the Police.  I certainly hope the young 16 year old fully recovers.  So sorry you feel "bothered" by an extra phone call and do not see that this might alarm people outside your narrow purview. 

    1. Right

      totally agree.  people in the neighborhood needed to know, parents of students may have wanted to check in. with their kids.  Quit complaining people.  We bought the system and this is a more than reasonable use of it.

      1. I am sorry, but this is not a

        I am sorry, but this is not a reasonable use. It was not an emergency — had a gunman been on the loose with police chasing, that would be an emergency. A notification after all is said and done is better left for the news or a bulletin in the city's web site.

        The city should make an opt out possible — right now, it is impossible to opt out of *any* announcement, no matter how useless ("snow emergency", "snow parking bans"… it does not matter if you don't own a car, "utilities emergencies"… sure, we need the city to tell us when we don't have power).  Even according to the city's own description, most of their announcements are non emergency. Furthermore, the city is reserving the right of using the system to advertise events. In one word: spam

      2. But how wide an area ?

        A man [70 single, no kids] living at Chicago and Greenwood got a robo-call and could not figure why he would be called.

        That seems stretching the distance pretty far—I assume because of close to Dempster but far from Dodge.

  5. Living in Evanston

    This is so simple.  Without the robocall, about 5 of our fellow Evanstonians would have complained that the City did not communicate to the citizens.  So the City moves to defensive government/communication.  It needs to be "transparent."

    We (or at least a few) get what they ask for.  Every City decision is a referendum.

  6. Police recorded message

    As a resident of the neighborhood in question, I for one certainly appreciate the call I got from the police.  It was obvious from all the commotion going on (police and other emergency vehicles and helicopters) that something was up and I believe we all deserved to know what it was all about, but more than that, we have no idea how many suspects were involved – only that they had apprehended five – or how many other weapons there might have been involved.  I took it as a word of caution…not fear pandering….and certainly not an annoyance!

  7. What were you thinking?

    Whose brilliant idea was it to send out the blast of “robo calls” regarding this incident? Do you have any idea how this impacted police services after everyone started calling for more information?

    Not only did the calls create an unnecessary panic, but it flooded and overwhelmed the police phone systems as thousands called for more info, checked to see if their child was involved, or simply called to complain about being bothered.

    On top of that, it hampered the investigation as it drew countless numbers of people to “the scene of the crime” as they were now curious and wanted to see what was going on.

    Why can’t you leave it to a simple press conference after things calm down and let the investigation progress? Please stop this ridiculous policy immediately as it is doing more harm than good.   

    1. “What were you thinking?”

      If you don't like it, simply hang up the phone, my friend. I suspect that you can opt out of future calls.

      Until suspects were apprehended, this was a public safety situation and after living through Laurie Dann, I want to know what the hell is going on.  The message gave more information than had been reported in the media until then, such as the recovery of a weapon and the arrest of 5 persons of interest.  The police got this one right.

      1. Robo Calls interfered with good police work

        The calls were made AFTER the suspects were in custody, the scene was well secured, and the weapon was found. There was absolutely no risk of public safety as this was a "case closed" incident within 15 minutes of the shooting. It only created a panic. You are correct, however, in that the message gave more information than had been originally reported, and for good reason. This is because the police often limit information to the media. This was was an ongoing investigation with a crime scene that quickly became overrun with onlookers and the curious generated by the info-blast by the City of Evanston.  By the way…the police had nothing to do with the "robo calls". There isn't a single officer that would support such nonsense.   

  8. You realize people live in

    You realize people live in these neighborhoods right? Don't you think they'd appreciate knowing there's a gunman running around? Not to mention it's a busy, crowded intersection with a shopping plaza across the street.

  9. Shooting Call

    I appreciated the call. I live in the area and I had heard earlier that the shooter was on the loose. 

  10. Was it one of the students from ETHS?

    People need to realize this incident was right after the school ended, and it was only couple of blocks from HS. It must be that either the shooter or the victim is ETHS student. The alert phone calls are computer generated, and it probably only takes one person to set it up. No resource wasted. I appreciate the publicity, as something needs to be done with progressing violence around  Evanston.

  11. Damned if you do, damned if

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  I think the information was sent out to citizens to inform.  I'm sure many, like I, drove thru the mess or had kids on their way home from school walk by.  I appreciate that the city is sharing the information and use their robo-call and email to inform.  I'm sure of the city did nothing, there would be tons of posts about why nothing was said.

    1. Close

      It is close but not the same block.  1 block west, 1 block south but it is not fair to link the two crimes.  Was anyone convicted in the Craig Smith shooting?  If not you might want to inquire why.

      There was a shooting at Burger King in the last few years.  That is a more apt comparison.

  12. I appreciated the call from the city and the high school

    But then again, I live in the area where it happened and have a kid at the highschool. It was 4 pm at a very busy intersection on a Friday. If calls can go out about snow parking, they can go out about this. I truly value the tele- communications coming from D202, D65 and NU's emergency response systems. No- they're not all emergencies, but it's timely, helps reduce mis-information and in turn eases fear. I think sharing information is a good use of time and resources. It can't honestly be THAT big of an inconvenience to receive a phone call, can it??

  13. Robo calls

    I'll comment lightly because I'm not registered "yet" for the emergency robo calls. I think the intent is to keep Evanstonians abreast of extraordinary events. Yeah, sure the phrase "emergency" could of been omitted but I give the city credit for keeping the public informed. I think they are just trying to do what they can from keeping our city from turning into a carbon copy of the "the ghettos" in Chicago. Unfortunately they have a long way to go.

  14. Why is all the concern in

    Why is all the concern in these comments about the phone call from the city.  We should be outraged at the level of violence that is now invading Evanston.   6 deaths last year.  A week or so ago, there was a march to end the violence and now this – in broad daylight in a crowded area right after school let out.

    Having been born and raised in Evanston, living in the area where the suspects were caught and a block away from where Craig Smith was murdered, I am having a very hard time understanding the level of hate and violence that has infiltrated our African-American youth.

    1. Thanks for saying it

      I was thinking the same thing. Thank you for saying it. Constructive conflict resolution appears to be in short supply in the black community.

      1. Broad Brush

        ETHS lists its African-American population at well over 1,000 students, and I'm sure there are many more young people of color in other schools across Evanston.  The overwhelming majority of these kids and their families are not involved in this kind of behavior.

        I don't know how we solve this problem, but let's remember that the evidence shows this is an isolated group of individuals.

    2. Levels of hate

      The levels of hate and violence of Evanston and our country's African-American youth are to be expected from American society.  They have not infiltrated.  They have been present for generations.  Since the beginning of our still to be deeply acknowledged history of slavery, the black American male has been given very few avenues to pursue.  American society has been historically violent towards black men and black men, in turn, as members of this society, unconsciously recreate this violence unto themselves.  We've heard this before, yet nothing changes.  A young black boy whose parents, grandparents, and literally ENSLAVED great grandparents were not raised in traditions of education and privilege and equal access, but rather locked into in lives of modern day slavery with subservient, thankless, dead-end, low-wage jobs is simply recreating the violence and shitty deal American history dealt him.  Crime and prison is career option we allow him.

      1. You’ve left me confused

        So Olen, are you saying the hate and violence are understandable and excusable? Or are you saying black youth needs to break the cycle itself? Are you saying that because of historic slavery, general society in 2011 – and Evanston in particular – has to accept being held hostage to anger and guns and the complete abolition of civility? Or are you saying it's a matter of individual responsibility transcending the legacy?

  15. Ending violence in Evanston

    Join with other citizens who will meet at the northwest corner of Dempster and Dodge on Sunday at 6pm. We stand united in our commitment to end violence in Evanston.

  16. Priorities

    I believe that the focus should be refocused from the phone calls to the prevention of guns landing into the hands of youth, to the abounding fashion of criminal thinking, to the negative mass in "music" that propels violence. I am sure if your were to question the shooter as to "Why" those shots were fired, the answer would no way warrant the victims' injuries. How do we find these hurting young people and show them love.

  17. In disbelief

    I moved to evanston just over a year ago from Chicago and am disgusted by the level of violence in this city. I live across the street from where Craig Smith was killed, so now we have the pleasure of being within blocks of another shooting! Great investment on our part. I guess I should have done more research before picking evanston – it is significantly more violent then anywhere I lived in Chicago. If these are the SAME kids as the downtown shooting – LOCK THEM UP!!! By not punishing everyone involved the police send the message you can be involved with this at no cost. Shoot away youth of evanston! The Craig Smith case was self defense according to police but I talked to an eyewitness who would disagree. This city is a serious disappointment. Yes I'm on the neighborhood email, I attend the meetings, I met my alderman, I vote, I am engaged – but guess what – I don't get paid to police the streets. I just pay $9K a year in taxes for the police department to do that. Stop making excuses and start taking some action. Maybe if someone innocent dies they will get something done.

    1. Re; In disbelief

      Please inform us what excuses the police department is making? I have heard nothing from the police that sounds like an excuse. The police can only arrest people, which apparently they have done in both situations. Are you suggesting they should arrest more people? What evidence is there that more arrests are warranted in these incidents? The police are still bound by the Constitution aren't they? What further steps are you suggesting the police take? Have you appeared in court to demand justice for the victims and to make sure the courts are doing their jobs, as well? Your taxes ALSO pay for the court system. It is very easy to stomp your feet and demand the police do more. But as I stated, the police can only arrest people. It is up to the courts to hand out punishments. I urge you to take your demands to the courts. Show up in court for these cases and let the judges and prosecutors know you are there and you expect justice to be done! Hold the court system as accountable as you do the police. The courts are the only ones who can truly have a deterrent effect on criminals. If they know they will be punished, severely, they might think twice. However, thinking the court system is a joke does not do too much for stopping people from committing crimes.  

      1. Punishment

        punishment does not deter crime.  it never has and it never will.  if punishment deterred crime, we would not have crime.  

  18. Are u serious!

    I didn't know anything about the emergency calls…but wouldn't you want to know if there was someone running around the area armed? Did a phone call really stop your day? Did phone call cause you to have a heart attack?  I know if my kid was shot, hopefully it wouldn't be such a big deal for you to pick up the phone to be on the look out for the suspect.

    I guess people don't care because it's not your kid then don't bother me!….Unless they run up into your house and shoot you.

    It's sad that the Evanston community has come to this. When I grew up in Evanston we were everybody's problem, we we cut up the police didn't have to call the entire neighborhood picked up the phone.

    My prayers to the young man for healing of his body and his mind to be transformed into the man God created him to be.

    My prayers for our youth that hopefully one day soon you will see the value in your life and the lives of others.


  19. Evanston Police

    The Evanston police have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation from this writer. They put their lives on the line with every call they respond to.  God needs to sweep over the Evanston youth with a powerful revival. Then human  dignity and respect will be restored. Teens will not respond to differences with killing but with communication, diplomacy and forgiveness. They will not look foe joy in exctacy and weed but in the joy of life itself. They will not be out to kick somebody's a– but hug their brother.  But until then, watch over your children. McDonalds use to be a place of  a smiling clown. Now the clowns arent smiling.  And God isnt either.

    1. More help for the police in solving crime

      Fortunately the criminals that did the Friday shooting were caught quickly but what about all the other crimes in Evanston.
      I don't think I've ever seen a posting in Evanston with an artist's drawing of what suspects look like.  Does the city have [or share with Skokie, Wilmette] a sketch artist or police officer who has/can use the software to construct a drawing ?
      I assume that at least for grades 8-12 the schools have photos of each student.  This will drive the northshore ACLU elite crazy, but are these photos available to the police ?  Better yet but probably not cost efficient have/can these [or at least of those and others arrested for crimes] be put in a data base with some notation of maybe obvious features such as race, glasses or not, obvious physical marks, shape of head?, etc. that the police can use for searching their data base or use to aid in sketches ?
      While budgets are tight, does the Evanston police department have a consulting forensic mathematician, or share one with Skokie/Wilmette, a northshore group, or Chicago ?  While the TV show 'Numb3rs' was overblown, many of the ideas came from or adapted from real stories and real police work using mathematicians/statisticians and software designed by them.  See for example the book "The Numbers Behind Numb3rs" that EPL has.
      Evanston has a real crime problem that needs to be address—along with the efforts of the schools, churches and esp. parents to get through to kids before they commit crimes or grown-up and commit crimes.

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