Gunfire strikes Riverside home, riddles vehicle left at scene

Several rounds fired during incident that began at Harlem Ave. gas station


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By Bob Uphues


Riverside police are still pursuing leads involving a March 16 incident where several gunshots were fired during an altercation in the 300 block of East Quincy Street, one of them, a .45-caliber slug, penetrating the front door of a home and lodging in the living room wall.

Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said the incident appears to have begun as some kind of altercation in the parking lot of the Amstar gas station at 3346 Harlem Ave. at about 7:10 p.m. Police reported recovering two .45-caliber shell casings on the driveway apron of the gas station.

Two adults and four children were inside the house at the time of the shooting. Police say the house was not targeted but was hit by a stray round. No one in the home was injured, although paramedics responded to the scene as a precaution.

In addition, police recovered a 2004 Chevy Silverado in the driveway of the home that had been struck by gunfire. The vehicle had been hit on the driver's side by three .45-caliber rounds. One struck the side mirror and two struck the front quarter panel, police said. The Silverado was registered to a Skokie address, which reportedly is a parking lot.

Police said the Silverado had been abandoned in the driveway by one of the parties involved in the shooting. That party then allegedly stole a 2006 Chevy Uplander from a home a couple of doors away and fled the scene.

The Uplander reportedly had been left running and unlocked in the driveway of the nearby home, and police say it appears to have been happenstance that such a convenient getaway vehicle was available to the person who abandoned the Silverado.

"It's strange, but it appears to be a coincidence," said Weitzel, who added that as of March 30, the Uplander had not been recovered.

According to Weitzel, the Silverado was towed from the scene and police subsequently obtained a search warrant for the vehicle. Inside, police reported finding several loose rounds of .40-caliber ammunition and cannabis that was packaged for legal sale.

Weitzel said the cannabis appears to have been delivered to Skokie from California.

"We're trying to run that part down," Weitzel said.

It's not clear how many people were involved in the shooting or how many vehicles were involved, but it appears to have been at least two vehicles.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to email tips to Detective James Lazansky at or call 708-447-2127.


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Reader Comments

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Jane Archer from Riverside  

Posted: March 28th, 2020 12:07 AM

I'm with Earl Hickey on this. Nothing says welcome to Riverside like people leaving their keys or key fobs in unlocked cars.

Riia Odonnell  

Posted: March 27th, 2020 4:54 PM

I'm happy to welcome everyone to Riverside,Helen, except criminals. If those streets have the same kind of barriers that are up in Oak Park, then no they wouldn't have been able to drive by shoot. Are we actually waiting for someone to get shot before we do what all our neighboring communities are doing to reduce traffic and crime?

Ed Sel  

Posted: March 26th, 2020 7:26 PM

Another Quincy drug distribution house maybe. Quincy and Burlington are the destination of choice for selling dope in the suburbs. This story has giant holes in it too. No urban terrorist gang-banger can just jump into a nearby car and tear-off like that. Even 15 year-old cars have some security that isn't easy to bypass. Nothing in this story passes the red-face test. Hope the cops can figure it out.

Earl Hickey  

Posted: March 26th, 2020 4:28 PM

"That party then allegedly stole a 2006 Chevy Uplander from a home a couple of doors away and fled the scene." Why was this vehicle able to be stolen so quickly especially in heat of a freewheeling gun battle? Was this another case of a vehicle being left unlocked in front of the house, with the keys and fobs in them so that the gunman merely had to hop in , push the start button and make his get away?

Helen Vogel  

Posted: March 25th, 2020 11:56 AM

Riia- nothing says "welcome to Riverside" more than cul de sacs and no entry signs. FYI, that bullet that hit the home can not read that through traffic is closed. Not a solution.

Riia Odonnell  

Posted: March 25th, 2020 11:27 AM

When are we going to close off traffic from Harlem Avenue to the residential sections of the Village - when someone is hurt? If this latest incident doesn't tell you it's time, I don't know what does!

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