Extra Halloween safety precautions in place in Rogers Park as police search for gunman who killed 2

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CHICAGO -- Extensive safety precautions were put in place Wednesday evening for trick-or-treaters in one North Side neighborhood after two fatal shootings in the area last month.

A “Trunk-or-Treat” event was held at the Willye White Park Fieldhouse in Rogers Park, and a “Candy Crawl” was held around the Morse Red Line station. The events served as alternatives to trick-or-treating, as a gunman is still on the loose after fatally shooting two men in the neighborhood in late September and early October.

One Rogers Park resident, Paris Suggs, said when she heard about the shootings, she said she wasn’t planning on going trick-or-treating with her two kids. She said the events were a great alternative.

Eliyahu Moscowitz, 24, was fatally shot in the head on a pedestrian path in Loyola Park  on Oct. 1. On Sept. 30, police said the same gun was used to kill 73-year-old Douglass Watts who was also shot in the head at close range in the 1400 block of West Sherwin Avenue.

On Oct. 3, police released surveillance video of a masked person suspected in the two homicides. Police published footage from Sept. 30 of a person dressed in all black and a ski mask walking towards the 1400 block of West Sherwin Avenue, where Watts was shot in the head, and additional footage of the suspect fleeing down an alley.

Residents were urged to use caution until the killer is found. Sales went down at many Rogers Park businesses because people were afraid to go out.

While the killer is still on the loose, 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore said the Halloween events offered a safe environment for residents and their families.

“I think because it was so random and senseless with no motivation attached to it obviously it is cause of a lot of concern, a lot of fear. What we are trying to do by things like this is to let people know, don’t hide behind closed doors. Come on out and enjoy the community. It’s safe to celebrate Halloween,” he said.

Officials hope an arrest comes before the killer can strike again. Suggs said she couldn’t agree more.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” she said. "You just have to watch out.”

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