Rumors of planned gang retaliation shootings in the Waukegan and North Chicago areas are circulating on social media after at least nine people were shot this week in the two cities.
In an apparent email sent by local activist Margaret Carrasco to city officials in Lake County, Carrasco said “word on the street” is that there are planned retaliation shootings Friday evening.
The email said that “orders to their foot soldiers” is to “barge into every bar and restaurant” and shoot opposing gang members.
At least eight people were shot, one fatally, in four separate shootings across Waukegan and North Chicago Wednesday evening.
6th Ward Alderman Keith Turner said one of the victims is a 10-year-old boy.
The spree of shootings come after an 18-year-old man was fatally shot outside a Waukegan apartment complex Tuesday evening.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that extra sheriff’s deputies and detectives have been deployed.
Many local police departments have also deployed extra officers.
“We have no credible information at this time to indicate widespread civil unrest,” Covelli said.
“Nonetheless we continue monitoring and are prepared,” he added.
Waukegan Deputy Police Chief Joe Florip said the department is aware of the rumors and extra officers have been deployed as a precaution.
Many residents have expressed concern on social media. One resident said that a bar in Waukegan has closed for the night.
Naval Station Great Lakes said in a social media post that there are “multiple reports that indicate gang activity is positioned against the communities of North Chicago and Waukegan.”
The naval station has directed its personnel “to use extreme caution and limit potential exposure to venues that could be targeted.”
“Stay vigilant and if you see something say something,” the naval station added.
Waukegan Mayor Ann Taylor released a statement Friday morning, saying she is “disturbed, sad, and frustrated” by the recent shooting sprees in her city.
“Acts of violence like Wednesday’s shootings cannot and should not be tolerated in any civil society,” Taylor said.
She vowed to work with the Waukegan Police Department to “do everything we can to get to the bottom of the causes of these violent incidents and proactively work to prevent them from occurring in Waukegan.”
She urges anyone with information on the recent shootings to call the Waukegan Police Department’s tip line at 847-360-9001.
North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham echoed Taylor’s reactions Friday evening and said he is bothered and disappointed by the “senseless violence.”
“It is time that we as a community take a stand against the violence and work together with our police officers to put an end to the senseless shootings and acts of gang violence,” Rockingham said.
“I want you to know that I stand with the men and women of the North Chicago Police Department, and every elected official in the city of North Chicago to do everything within our power to end this senseless violence.”
He is also asking residents to report anything out of place and contact the North Chicago Police Department’s tip line at 847-596-8740 if anyone has information on the recent shootings.