CHICAGO — Gunfire erupted at a Halloween party in North Lawndale early Sunday morning leaving 15 people injured.
Police say the person who allegedly fired the shots into the crowd was taken into custody shortly after and charges are pending. In the meantime, police have teamed up with a North Lawndale nonprofit to bring a critical resource to the community to help those impacted by the tragedy.
According to police, two people, a 48-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman were both critically injured in the shooting and 13 others, ages 26 to 53, were reportedly in good condition when taken to the hospital.
Mike Trout, the Executive Director of the Young Men’s Educational Network, spent his day getting the word out about CPD’s plan to open an emergency assistance center in his building following the shooting.
“It’s disconcerting when you wake up in the morning and you hear that 15 people have been shot in your neighborhood and then to realize it was right across the street from your youth organization,” Trout said.
The Crime Victim Assistance Program is set to take place on Tuesday. With the help of YMEN and other local organizations, CPD will offer one day of crisis counseling, financial loss guidance, access to therapy dogs and additional social services to those impacted by Sunday’s gun violence and similar incidents.
“When you’re affected by trauma or difficulties, that is a time to lean in and not away,” Trout said.
According to police, the shooting happened just after 1 a.m. in the 1200 block of South Pulaski Road at Studio 1258.
Officers say around 100 people were gathered inside the building when someone was thrown out of the party. The partygoer then allegedly returned to the scene with a gun and opened fire.
Police say Studio 1258 had been operating events without a license, The day after the shooting, CPD issued a Summary Closure which determined that the establishment presented a danger to the public.
“Before this incident, I like to think that the 1200 block of South Pulaski is one of the best in the neighborhood,” Trout said. “Like I said, we have two churches, two schools, a nonprofit organization, and young people are flourishing and thriving.“
Trout said he did not want the violent incident to represent his beloved community.
“The 400 children that come on this block every day to go to school, or to come to the after-school program. We want them to know that we’re not going anywhere,” Trout said. “This will continue to be a safe place and space.”
According to Trout, he hopes the services that will be offered will help those impacted heal and offer a step forward in stopping the cycle of violence.
“Please come and sit down with us and share your story we want to hear from you, we want to wrap our arms around you, we want you to know that we are better together,” Trout said.
The emergency assistance center will be open from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.