Zehra Parnaby said she had to muster the courage to step outside her West Ridge home after a fatal shooting occurred just a few feet from her door on the North Side on Tuesday.
“I just really had to push myself to get out, and I didn’t want to walk over there,” Parnaby said. “I kind of had to say to myself, OK this is one incident, but If I’m at the wrong place at the wrong time it could be me.”
One person was killed and another wounded in the shooting, which happened about 4:40 p.m. in the 2500 block of West Estes Avenue, Chicago police said.
It was the neighborhood’s third fatal shooting in less than a week, leaving Parnaby and others in the community uneasy about their safety.
“It was really unnerving, and we’re concerned about the safety of the neighborhood,” Parnaby said, adding that she heard the shots and saw her block flooded with police.
On Monday night, Salim Khamo was shot and killed in an attempted robbery less than two miles away, in the 6300 block of North Western Avenue. Days earlier, Lavell Winslow, 13, was at Lerner Park when he was fatally shot in the head, according to police and his family. That shooting is believed to have been an accident.
Parnaby, who is in her 80s, has lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years. She said this year has been “horrific” for the community.
The person killed on Estes is the fourth killed in West Ridge this year, according to data kept by the Chicago Sun-Times. One person was killed in the neighborhood last year.
Homicides in the 24th police district, which includes West Ridge, are up 80% this year compared with 2021, and shootings have increased by 8%, according to Chicago police statistics.
“I know certain areas have more crimes, but I think the city has to do something more to get residents some more peace,” Parnaby said. “Nothing is being done.”
In response to the killings, local Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) sent a statement to the Sun-Times on Tuesday:
“I have for a long time been a supporter of community policing. We have worked hand and hand with the Police Department for over a decade now. We support their initiatives and they have supported all the work done by the 50th Ward.
“However, this recent rise in crime is beyond unacceptable. We will not allow this to happen in the 50th Ward. I have already spoken to my Police Commanders and some of the so-called ‘beat cops’. Now more than ever, they are asking for additional officers and additional resources.”
Another neighborhood resident, who asked not to be named, expressed a similar reluctance to leave the safety of her home after the shooting on Estes.
“Even to go to my garage it is terrifying for me at night,” the woman said. “I don’t know what’s going on. It’s just scary.” She added that people needed to increase their support of police to help curb crime.
“We need more security around,” Parnaby said. “I know they’re putting more police in different areas, but they’re ignoring certain areas, which I think that’s not good. So we need more police presence.”
Angela, who asked to be identified only by her first name, said the area usually “feels more chill” than other areas in Chicago she’s lived in. “There’s a really nice sense of community in this neighborhood,” she said.
The recent shootings have left her “shaken up,” Angela said, because she usually walks her dog around the neighborhood in the afternoon and a lot of families are out and about at that time.
But she said the incidents won’t keep her from going about her day as she usually does.
“It makes me probably be a little more conscientious about where I’m at and what’s going on around me,” Angela said. “It was a little bit alarming, but that can happen anywhere in this city, unfortunately.”
“It doesn’t seem like there’s a really safe place in this city anymore,” Parnaby said. “It happens in River North, it happens in Gold Coast and it happens here.”
Soruce : https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/west-ridge-residents-unnerved-after-3rd-fatal-shooting-in-less-than-a-week-we-need-more-security/2972805/