PALATINE, Ill. — A 15-year-old boy is in critical condition after a shooting in Unincorporated Palatine early Thursday morning.

Palatine police said officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 1700 block of East Clear Creek Bay around 5:19 a.m. and found several shell casings but no injured individuals.

A few minutes later, officers responded to the 1200 block of Long Valley Drive and found a 15-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to his upper body.

He was transported to a hospital in critical condition.

Longtime residents of Palatine told WGN News that crime is a growing problem, with the spillover of crime and gang activity intensifying in recent months. 

Hidden Creek Michal Jagiello said crime has skyrocketed in the area over the last 18 months.

“We have those instances in the past and it’s not safe,” the father of three said. “And our concern is, ‘How do we fight it?'”

Fellow Hidden Creek resident Jerry Lumbrerez said his wife heard popping noises and rushed to wake him up.

“It’s very sad especially when it’s in your own neighborhood,” Lumbrerez said about what he called a usually quiet Palatine community. “It’s very concerning. My heart goes out to the family that this happened to.”

Locals in the area report seeing a sputtering car, orange in color, speeding away from the shooting scene. As of this writing, police have not confirmed the allegations of an older model orange sedan fleeing from the scene.

If any information is recovered on the incident, call Palatine police at (847) 359-9000.