An 18-year-old Skokie man, shot to death Wednesday evening at Evanston’s Clark Street Beach, had been arrested on gun charges last year.

Jacquis Irby, of 8500 Niles Center Road, identified by the medical examiner’s office as the shooting victim, had been charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by Evanston police after he was arrested last fall by Skokie police on other charges.

The Evanston charges, police said, stemmed from an April 29 incident in which police recovered a 9mm “ghost gun” that forensic evidence later tied to Irby.

Jacquis Irby (CCSO photo)

In the Skokie case, Irby was arrested at the Old Orchard Mall after allegedly dropping a .40 caliber Glock pistol with an extended magazine as he fled from police trying to arrest him in connection with the Evanston case.

At a bond hearing on the gun charges, prosecutors said Irby had been sentenced to 8 months in juvenile detention in 2021 on another aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge.

Meanwhile, a 15-year-old youth also shot at the beach Wednesday evening remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Evanston police continue to seek two suspects in the shooting incident. Sheridan Road has been reopened to traffic, but portions of the park and path around Clark Street Beach remain closed this morning while police investigate the shooting.

Related story: Shooting at Clark Street Beach

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. For the brave, rational people this is yet another screamingly obvious reason to grind up the guns.
    For the cowardly, irrational people who watch too many movies, this is a reason to pollute our community with even more guns.
    We have to acknowledge once and for all that the best case scenario if you’re armed isn’t “protection” or “self-defense” at all – it’s an automatic escalation of violence, and both sides will likely end up dead.
    The victim here was running around, armed, for a long time. It didn’t save him, did it?
    I call on Evanston gun owners to get real. You’re living in a John Wick fantasy land. You’re damning the young people to a world where they can’t even go outside, after they already spent a year and a half shoved away in their rooms to protect the larger community from covid.
    Why do these heroes, these veterans, deserve to emerge from cold dark isolation into this hellish nightmare?
    I would support a community gun list – report anyone you know who has a gun, “responsibly” or not. Let’s do to guns what we did to cigarettes – make it pretty much socially unacceptable.
    The young people deserve this , at the very least.

    1. I support gun control.

      But we already have gun laws. The victim here violated those laws three times, most recently both a year ago and again 4 months ago.

      The article reports that his December arrest was “in connection with” the previous case. Since he had been taken into custody then, that implies he had ignored either a subpoena or a court date. Multiple gun crimes along with thumbing his nose at the legal process should have meant he was denied bail and kept in custody, in a rational world. He wouldn’t have been on the street to get in an altercation and get himself killed. And get two much younger kids, possibly his friends, shot.

      We need State’s Attorney Fox and the Cook County courts to take our gun laws seriously.

      We also need our community to take these crimes seriously. That means trusting police, providing police with tips, details and sworn testimony about these crimes, to ensure perpetrators can be prosecuted successfully. It’s the only way to end the cycle of violence, by ensuring it can’t continue with impunity.

      1. It is amazing how people will rationalize giving up their fundamental rights because of the actions of bad actors. Quite amazing actually.

  2. The first beautiful day at the beach and we’re reminded of the fact that we are not safe anywhere. More guns do not make us safer and we the people need to protest against the NRA and our lawmakers who stand by and do nothing shooting after shooting after shooting. This is not how most people want to live and beyond a shadow of a doubt the proliferation of guns is the major contributing factor. Are there other issues? Of course. There’s just one glaring one that we refuse to address and people are fed up- it’s time to get loud and active. A few places to start: Everytown for Gun Safety, Mom’s Demand Action and March Fourth. And/Or, call your lawmakers every day.

  3. @ Will Voltz. I agree with your sentiments. But IMO — you’ve described a fantastical/utopian scenario without guns. I would love it if we could be like Japan or Norway — but that is all but impossible here. And anyway, guns are just something that comes with the territory when one lives the lifestyle that Jacquis Irby lived (more of a deathstyle, really).. People who live that lifestyle have no regard for laws and will get their guns regardless of whatever laws are passed. You saw the part about the “ghost gun,” right? That’s never going away. Criminals are extremely enterprising and will always find a way to get what they want.

    Do you think Jacquis Irby or whoever murdered him had a FOID card? Or parents that cared for well-being, for that matter? One of the victims was 15 and is in critical condition. 15? Why isn’t he home in bed or doing homework on a school night? SMH.
    This is never going to stop — and the worst part of it is that it’s becoming normalized such that it happens on a nice spring night at the beach? I’ve been at that beach at night many times at night just minding my own business, enjoying the fresh air and waves — and to think innocent and decent, family people could be collateral damage in this crap is the worst part of this. Something tells me the people involved in this incident are no strangers to this — and they are just solving their own problems the way they know how to do it. But jeez — the good people who did the work and made something of themselves and contribute to society should not have to be victimized by this thuggery.

    1. Sorry but I and many other parents simply cannot and will not give up as you suggest. I’m sure I’ll die, the loser in this battle. But anything less is to betray my love of my kids, and everyone’s, really.

    2. How about enforcing the laws in place and not releasing these criminals in the first place. That might be a good start.

    3. The only thing I disagree with you about is, saying Jacquis didn’t have parents that cared, that’s a pretty bold statement and you don’t know his parents, well I know his mother and grandmother and they cared for him very much see you skipped over the fact that he was 18! Which means he was A GROWN MAN and could and would do whatever he wanted, do you have kids? Are you able to follow your kids around 24/7? Because whether you admit it or not all kids do things there not suppose to when adults are not around ….so you see it actually has nothing to do with parenting society as a whole is just violent and if you sit down and read the Bible it depicts everything that’s going on right now ……

      1. Absolutely not.
        Even if he is a grown man, his parents didn’t raise him right. That is very obvious. These families need to take responsibility of their children and the ethics and morals that the parents instill in them. If you’re idea of parenting is smacking and yelling at your kids, and not taking responsibility in their development…well this happens.

  4. If outlawing all guns would magically make all guns disappear out of the hands of people who have zero fear of the law, I’d be in full support. A good start is making sure there are consequences for offenders of the laws currently in place. Parents of underage offenders should also have consequences. I’m finding it ironic that we require beach passes for dogs, but known gun offenders roam freely. The judge who let him go free after the first incidents basically signed this boy’s death sentence.

  5. As it is not realistic to rid the USA of hand guns, it is time to get tougher on people who repeatedly are caught illegally carrying guns, as it is a fact that they (those who carry guns illegally) are disproportionally responsible for gun violence in our streets.

  6. We don’t have a gun problem. There have always been guns. We don’t need more gun laws. We have lots of gun laws.

    What we do have here is a bad parenting problem. If you want to really solve the problem, put away your soap boxes and stop talking about banning guns (won’t ever happen).

    Instead, just do two simple things: (1) put every parent of every kid under 18 that uses a gun during a crime in jail for 1 year, and (2) put every person that uses a gun during a crime in jail for 30 years at a minimum. No exceptions and swift justice. The gun problem will go away in 90 days.

    1. I know the mother of the young man who was killed, and I know how hard she has worked and what she gave up to try to keep him safe. I saw first hand how dedicated she has been to the Evanston community and our schools. How DARE you put this on her. You should be ashamed.

  7. Another terrible teenage shooting and death here in Evanston – when will we get serious about not tolerating guns in our teenage population? While second amendment rights make taking guns out of the hands of adults nearly impossible, minors/teenagers — who are also most at risk due to their still developing minds — are another story.

    While we don’t know if any of the victims or shooters attended ETHS, we do know that we can make changes to reduce the numbers of guns in ETHS teenager’s hands, at least during the school day: we could do this by installing modern seamless Wrigley Field-type “metal” detectors (they use AI technology to scan for gun shaped objects and don’t require removing metal items before scanning) at ETHS to ensure that at least all the kids there are safe from guns when they are in that building for the majority of every school day.

    Is such a system affordable? I don’t know but I would suggest that now that this latest shooting has occurred right at Northwestern’s doorstep, and the issue of safety of their elite students is a paramount concern of theirs, how about NU considers contributing a very small amount of their huge endowment to give back to the community by funding such detectors , while also protecting their “brand”?

  8. Dozens of people were out enjoying Clark Street Beach on the night of the shooting, including college students, young parents strolling with babies, high schoolers, and people walking their dogs. THANK GOD no one who WASN’T associated with a gang-related altercation wasn’t hit by a stray bullet. We can grieve that another young person was killed too soon. This young man had a family who loved him, but apparently did not do enough to keep him out of the gang life. 2 gun charges already, at age 18? A kid who ran through Old Orchard carrying a ghost gun? A kid who kept his social media accounts plastered full of photos of himself and associates throwing up gang signs? This is a tired, old story. I’m sure that the family will put up a GoFundMe soon asking for help. If your kids are gang and gun-involved, you’d better start saving for their funerals NOW.

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