Evanston police say two groups of men engaged in a shootout early this morning in the 1900 block of Emerson Street.

Evanston police say two groups of men engaged in a shootout early this morning in the 1900 block of Emerson Street.

Police Chief Richard Eddington told residents at a 5th Ward community meeting this evening that between nine and 11 shots were exchanged — leaving bullet holes in homes and cars on both sides of the street.

Eddington says police have arrested one person in connection with the incident who’s been charged with aggravated fleeing and resisting arrest.

He said the shootout was apparently the result of a dispute between two groups of drug dealers.

There were no reports of injuries in the exchange of gunfire, but the chief said that innocent residents of the neighborhood easily could have been injured or killed in the incident.

At the meeting Eddington distributed copies of maps showing shots fired and man with a gun calls that police have responded to since the start of last year. (An interactive map showing the same data is available here.)

The map shows the vast majority of shooting incidents taking place in the 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th wards, and he urged residents to help police by reporting suspicious activity on their block.

Eddington said the latest incident appears to have “ratcheted up” the level of violence, in that nearly all the previous incidents involved drive-by shootings with just one assailant firing shots, while in today’s incident two sides in the dispute were shooting at each other.

Update 5/23/09 — More detail in this report: One arrested after high speed chase

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Shootout on Emerson
    The shots fired totaled 19. There were 6 initially and then some minutes later 2 more distinct groups of 5 and 8 shots fired. It is to the point that we, as a community, MUST stand up and EMPOWER ourselves to say NO MORE! We must feel safe where we live – there is no other option. Our children must be safe where we live – there is no other option. We must join together as a community to ensure our voices are heard. Please reach out to 5th Ward Alderwoman, Delores Holmes, and join WEST. Only togehter can we overcome the problems our community is facing.

  2. Are Police resources being wisely used?
    Tonight on McCormick the police set up a “Seat belt trap” I counted about 10 police officers working the trap. It would appear to me a better use of police time would be working on arresting drug dealers than writing seat belt tickets at 6:00 pm on a friday night.

    Maybe council members put them up to this, that is trying to collect revenue for a shrinking city budget.

    1. Police Resources
      It is a grant funded by the state of Illinois. It doesn’t cost the city a dime. Last year, more people died in car crashes in Evanston than in violent crimes …. Still think it’s a waste of resources???

      1. Reply to Police resources
        So you do not pay any taxes to the state? I seem to recall the new governor now wants to raise our tax rate since he is out of cash.

        I wonder if these officers will be paid overtime since now they are working extra. ( don’t worry we will pay for this )

        I think my chances of being a victim of violent crime is greater if I am in the wrong neighborhood here ( 5th or 8th ward ) than driving my car without a seat belt!

      2. Police stops
        Ever been hit by an idiot without insurance? The stops for seat belts frequently turn up other violations including driving without a license, no insurance, kids unrestrained, etc. Toatally worth it. The goal here is to find no violations.

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