Since the 2018-2019 academic year ended in early May, The Phoenix has reported multiple instances of gun violence, assault, robbery and other incidents in Rogers Park, following a trend of an increase in the amount of violent crimes in the summer months.
Compared to the other seasons of the year, the summer months — May through September — typically have an increased level of violent crime, according to a 2017 study done by researchers at Drexel University. The researchers found crime rates were also higher on the hottest days of those months.
Dr. Leah Schinasi — one of the researchers — said the correlation between warm weather and higher crime could be explained by social behavior and the idea that when it’s warmer and more comfortable outside, there are more people outside. This can then allow for more opportunities for crime, she said.
An analysis in police crime data by The Chicago Tribune in 2017 found this trend in Chicago. By looking at daily crime and average daily temperatures, The Tribune found crimes such as battery — which includes shootings and assaults — and theft rise with temperature increases.
Six people injured and two killed in shootings between May and August
After a violent summer of seven shootings in Rogers Park, nobody has been charged with any of the crimes, according to Chicago Police Department (CPD) News Affairs Officer Jessica Alvarez. All the incidents are still open and under investigation, except the shooting at the 1600 block of West Jonquil Terrace, which has been suspended due to uncooperation from the victim, Alvarez said.
A 25-year-old man was shot in his upper arm May 30 while at Loyola Park — about a mile from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus — but was listed in stable condition after being transported to Presence Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston.
Two days later, early on the morning of June 1, a 53-year-old woman was shot in her torso outside a building at the 1600 block of West Jonquil Terrace — 1.6 miles from Lake Shore Campus. Police told The Phoenix she was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in stable condition.
Two teenagers were shot on the evening of June 25 at the 7300 block of North Rogers Avenue — 2.3 miles from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. One victim, a 17-year-old boy, was shot in the right leg, and the other — a 15-year-old boy — was shot in the right ankle. Both boys transported themselves to Saint Francis Hospital in good condition.
Two days later, on June 27, another teenager was shot. The 17-year-old boy was shot in the torso while standing on the sidewalk on the 6900 block of North Glenwood Avenue — about one mile from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus — in the middle of the afternoon. He was pronounced dead at Saint Francis Hospital, police said.
A 42-year-old man died on July 1 after being shot in the leg, abdomen and lower backside while standing outside at the 7500 block of North Rogers Avenue — 1.4 miles from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus — at approximately 9:17 p.m., according to CPD. He was pronounced dead the following morning at Saint Francis Hospital.
Nearly a month later, early in the morning on August 3, a 25-year-old man was riding his bike at the 6900 block of North Ashland Boulevard — about a mile from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus — when someone inside a passing car shot him in the leg. He was in stable condition after being taken to Saint Francis Hospital.
On the night of August 9, a 40-year-old man was approached at the 7500 block of North Paulina Avenue — 2.2 miles from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus — by two unknown men who said they were going to rob him. The victim ran away, but was shot in the hand. He was in good condition after being taken to North Shore University Hospital in Evanston, police said.
Violence at the CTA
A woman was attacked and sexually assaulted after a man followed her home from the Morse Red Line stop — one stop away from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus — early in the morning July 9. Police have since found and charged the alleged perpetrator.
Early in the morning July 30, a man was stabbed in the chest by an unknown person outside the Howard Red Line stop. The 54-year-old then boarded a southbound train, and was found on the train at the Morse stop in critical condition. He was then taken to Saint Francis Hospital.
Outside the Loyola Red Line stop on the evening of August 7, a 60-year-old woman was beaten and robbed by an unknown person.
No one has been arrested in regards to the stabbing attack or robbery, according to CPD.
String of strong armed robberies
There were three violent robberies in Rogers Park — each a few miles away from the Lake Shore Campus — from June 12 to 16, in which the same group of young men beat and robbed the victims.
The first occurred the evening of June 12 at the 7600 block of North Bosworth Avenue, and the second happened only hours later at the 1800 block of West Birchwood Avenue. The third, on the early morning of June 16, took place at the 2000 block of West Fargo Avenue.
No one has been arrested for these robberies, according to CPD.
Fatal car crash on campus
A 24-year-old man died July 8 after crashing into the Loyola University Chicago sign near the Sullivan Center on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus, The Phoenix reported. He hit the curb while driving his car at a very high speed, causing him to collide with the sign.
The car was extremely damaged due to the crash, and caught fire, police said. The man was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Deaths in Lake Michigan
Two Rogers Park residents were pulled out of Lake Michigan this summer.
The first occurred on the morning of June 25, when a 64-year-old man was found unresponsive in the water at the 1000 block of West Pratt Boulevard, and was pulled onto shore by witnesses. He was taken to Saint Francis Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A 56-year-old man was then found dead in the water on the afternoon of July 2 — at the 7700 block of North Eastlake Terrace — after being pulled ashore by Chicago Park District lifeguards.
In the wake of these deaths and more, Rogers Park and Chicago activists are calling for better water safety education, The Phoenix reported.