Evanston police say a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon on Emerson Street has led to the recovery of a loaded .32 caliber semi-automatic gun.

Cmdr. Jay Parrott says detectives assigned to the special operations group stopped the car with several occupants in the 1600 block of Emerson about 4 p.m.

While they had the car stopped, an officer observed one person in the car reaching down in what appeared to be an attempt to conceal something, Parrott said.

When officers searched the car, they found the gun on the rear floorboard under a seat and arrested Gary L. Spearman, 19, of 1810 Church St. He’s been charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and not having a valid firearm owner’s identification card.

Parrott says the arrest is a result of an enhanced police presence in an area that has seen recent shots fired calls and several shootings.

Officers assigned to the investigative services division and the field operations division, Parrott says, have been heavily focused on a violence reduction mission because of the recent incidents.

Spearman is scheduled to appear in Skokie district court at 9 a.m. on July 22.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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