U.S.A

Alderman vows party bus crackdown after 8 people wounded when gunmen open fire in Lincoln Park

A party bus shootout at a gas station in Lincoln Park, in which eight revelers were injured, prompted the local city council to propose Thursday that all Chicago party buses be throttled at 10 p.m.

“I’m working on a prescription right now,” Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said Thursday afternoon. “You’d have to stop driving people around by 10am.”

In the most recent attack, three cars stopped just before midnight in the 1600 block of North LaSalle Drive and gunmen began shooting at the group of people from the party bus, Chicago police said.

It was the third mass shooting of the day and happened just hours after two attacks on the West Side that injured a total of 10 people, including a 14-year-old boy who died.

Police did not say whether the victims were on the bus or alight and did not provide any further details of the shooting. No one was in custody and the police did not release any description of the attackers.

Hopkins said the 10pm curfew made sense because “many of the problems we had on party buses started around midnight. This incident lasted five minutes to midnight. It just seems like a recipe for disaster when you have 36 people, lots of alcohol, possibly some narcotics as well. And with the hours, the likelihood of problems increases. It could be time to limit the service life of these buses. “

Hopkins acknowledged that the city council has launched countless raids over the years to keep party bus rides from becoming violent.

This includes party buses that carry at least 15 people drinking on board or make several bar stops to install security cameras or hire more security guards.

But after the shootings on Wednesday night, Hopkins argued it was time for another crackdown.

Hopkins argued that the previous raids had an impact – even during the Wednesday night shooting.

“A security guard was present. Obviously, he was unable to prevent this incident. But arguably he prevented it from getting worse because both vehicles that stopped during this attack – one of them actually fled without firing a shot, and the other, which fired multiple shots, did it very quickly. Not stayed. It was a hit and run, ”said Hopkins.

“It turned out that the driver of the bus was also armed. He has a concealed transport permit. And he had the feeling that it was part of his job to provide security and prevent something like that. “

In the incident, a 24-year-old man was shot in the arm and a 26-year-old woman in the leg, police said. Both were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital; the man was in good condition and the woman was in serious condition.

A 23-year-old man was also brought to Northwestern in serious condition, police said. Two men, 42 and 52, both hit in the leg, were rushed to the Illinois Masonic Hospital in good condition.

A 27-year-old man who was shot in the chest was later dumped in Northwestern in critical condition, police said. A 29-year-old man who was hit in the arm was taken to Rush University Medical Center and then transferred to Stroger Hospital in fair condition.

A 26-year-old woman who was shot in the hand drove to Jackson Park Hospital, where she was in good condition, police said.

Retired Business and Consumer Protection Commissioner Rosa Escareno said she wasn’t sure Chicago needs another party bus crackdown. She noted that Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s comprehensive aid package included expanded requirements for party bus companies.

This includes “doubling the need for security personnel and requiring the itinerary to be available in the vehicle at all times”.

“Over the years Chicago has been very strong on these companies’ regulations and requirements for party buses. … We believe that we have had sufficient, if not more, regulation than most other cities so far, ”said Escareno.

Escareno said if problems persist, the problem is generally “not your licensed industry. It was really your breakaway unlicensed actors. This is really more of a criminal issue. “

Escareno’s spokesman later told the Sun-Times that the party bus involved in the Lincoln Park shootings had been “licensed and insured” by the city’s Department of Business and Consumer Protection.

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