CHICAGO — An investigation is underway after a shooting at a River North gas station on Saturday morning.
According to police, it happened at the BP gas station in the 700 block of North Wells Street around 10:15 a.m.
Officers say the victim, a 48-year-old man, was at the gas station when a grey sedan drove up and parked next to him. A person then got out of the grey vehicle and entered the victim’s SUV in an attempt to steal his belongings.
Police say the victim confronted the offender and that is when the two exchanged gunfire. After the shooting, the suspects fled from the scene.
While nobody was injured in the shootout, residents in the area say they are on edge.
“To even see something like this, I was astonished. I was like, ‘not here,’ because I come here every day,” James Fitch, a resident in the area, said.
Hours after the shooting, the victim’s car was surrounded by crime scene tape and police were still on the scene as residents in the area try to process the crime that they say happened too close to home.
“It’s starting to take form everywhere in the city,” Fitch said. “Someone has to stand up and say, ‘We’ve had enough,’ and we’re going to put our finger on the problem.”
Damage from gunfire was visible in one of the windows of the gas station.
“Thank god that nobody was seriously hurt, but stray shots can hit anybody,” said Joe Miroballi, who lives in the area.
Miroballi, a lifelong Chicagoan, moved to the area eight years ago. He worries that shootings in the area are becoming more common.
“It’s heartbreaking to see this happen constantly, and it’s not just, ‘Okay it’s in this neighborhood,’ It shouldn’t happen anywhere,” Miroballi said.
Just blocks away, back in August, a 24-year-old man was shot to death while sitting inside his car. But even with the recent incidents, Chicago crime statistics show that shootings in the district that includes River North are down 53% since the start of the year, compared to the same time period last year.
“This anger that we have built up, we can replace that with something else. I mean we have to. It has to happen,” Fitch said.
Officers say Area 3 detectives are investigating and no arrests have been made in connection to the shooting.