Rogers Park Gunman Hasn’t Been Seen in Area Since Murders, Police Dispel Rumors

Michael McDevitt | Loyola PhoenixPolice held a community meeting in Rogers Park Thursday where they cleared up rumors and gave information about the recent murders in the area.

The masked gunman who allegedly shot and killed two people in Rogers Park on back-to-back days, tossing the neighborhood into sadness and confusion, hasn’t been seen in the area since they killed someone Monday night, police say.

Police said despite social media murmurs, the slender figure in dark clothing and a face covering hasn’t been spotted walking around the neighborhood.

The two recent Rogers Park killings, about a mile and a half from Lake Shore Campus, aren’t being investigated as hate crimes, First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio for Chicago Police said at a community meeting at the Bernard Horwich Jewish Community Center in Rogers Park Thursday evening.

Eliyahu Moscowitz, 24, who was shot in the head and killed Oct. 1 in Loyola Park at about 10 p.m., was an Orthodox Jewish man. Douglass Watts, the 73-year-old who was killed walking his dogs the morning of Sept. 30 in the 1400 block of West Sherwin Avenue, was a gay man.

Riccio also said that despite some rumors, the race of the murder suspect hasn’t been determined. Earlier reports had said the person was black.

Police did say the suspect has a “darker complexion” and is believed to be between 5′ 10″ and 6′ 0″ tall with a “slender build.”

Video surveillance of the suspect was released Wednesday. The suspect has a “duck-footed” walk, meaning his feet turn outward, police said.

Chicago Police Sergeant Shawn Sisk addressed residents’ concerns of racial profiling. He said while race isn’t determined, police are looking for someone who fits a certain description and if they don’t stop people who fit it, they aren’t doing their job.

The police are doing “exactly what we want them to do,” Riccio said.

Riccio said it’s likely the offender lives in Rogers Park. That’s because no vehicle was seen near the murder scenes or exiting the areas, he said.

Ballistics tests from shell casings led police Tuesday to conclude the same gun was used in both killings, and it was likely the same killer.

Since setting up a phone tip line Tuesday, Riccio said detectives have received 105 tips from people who say they have information about the crimes.

Michael, a 24-year-old Rogers Park resident who attended the meeting and runs in the area, said he never runs at night and has stopped listening to music on his runs. The Phoenix isn’t using his last name out of privacy concerns.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous,” he said.

Police are offering a $10,000 reward for information that could lead to the arrest of the murder suspect.

Officers reminded residents the investigation is still in its early stages and there are a lot of unclear details. Riccio said 40 detectives are on the case and a visible police presence has saturated the neighborhood.

As the verdict for the Jason Van Dyke trial approaches, police said officers from Rogers Park won’t be relocated to handle possible protests and will remain on this case “for the long haul.”

CPD spokesman Glen Brooks said Loyola students should be sure all information they spread is accurate. He said CPD doesn’t release information unless it’s absolutely certain, and he encouraged students to call if they have questions.

Campus Safety and CPD have encouraged students to travel in groups, be aware of their surroundings, report any suspicious activity and use Loyola’s free ride share service, 8-RIDE, which will be running on its normal schedule over fall break.

Anybody with information should call Area North detectives at 312-744-8263.

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