In the aftermath of a tragic weekend, 5th ward Alderwoman calls community Zoom meeting tonight.

TO JOIN MEETING:…/Co…/Calendar/Event/16145/19 Meeting ID: 994 3632 9699 Passcode: 389376 AGENDA: Welcome -- Robin Rue Simmons 5th Ward Alderman

Remarks -- Mayor Steve Hagerty; Ald. Peter Braithwaite

Public Comment 30 minutes

Investigation update -- Police Chief Demitrous Cook

Gang Report -- Sgt. James Pillars

Youth and Young Adult Services -- Audrey Thompson

James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy Re-entry Services -- Patrick Keenan-Devlin

Neighborhood police update -- Officer Adam Howard


Dear Neighbors,

I hope this message reaches you healthy and well.

This has been an intense spring and summer. This weekend, as we all practiced our collective resilience in the face of the pandemic and tried to enjoy some summer fun, we were struck by a tragic string of violence, resulting in the deaths of two young Evanston men.

My thoughts and condolences are with the family and loved ones of Deashawn Turner, 21, who was shot and killed just after midnight on Saturday in the 2200 block of Emerson, and Andrew Williams, 29, who was shot and killed in the 1900 block of Hartrey in the middle of the day yesterday, a day before his 30th birthday.

In addition, last Thursday, Brian Carrion, a 20-year-old young man from Glenview was shot and killed near the Howard Street Red Line station and a 21-year-old Evanston man nearby was wounded.

My heart is also with each of you as we manage our own trauma from the violence in our neighborhood.

If you have any information, no matter how incidental, please contact the Evanston police or text an anonymous tip to “274637”. Start your message with EPDTIP (to ensure the tip is routed to the proper police department) and then provide any information you have.

Here are details about the shootings:

Evanston Police Investigate Possible Retaliatory Shooting on Hartrey Ave.

Evanston Police Investigate Early Morning Shooting

Evanston Police Identify Victim of the Homicide near the Howard Street Red Line

As I began this newsletter yesterday afternoon to address Deashawn Turner’s murder, I was interrupted by the next tragic shooting, and left my desk to offer support to my childhood friends who witnessed their nephew, their son, Andrew Williams, die in a pool of blood in his mother’s front yard as they celebrated his birthday with a family cookout.

Even after returning home yesterday, I could still smell the meat burning, charring on the grill, meat that couldn’t be removed because it had become part of a crime scene. I still see his bright red blood on the sidewalk, and I can still feel his loved ones’ trauma--though many of them are mostly numb.

My condolences to Andrew’s mother Kelly Young and the entire family, my prayers are with you all.

On Saturday, there were four shootings with dozens of bullets, and depending on where you live, you and your family may have flinched with each shot. I know how shaken you must feel and how concerned you must be for your families’ safety after this weekend. I am so sorry. This hits home for me too, not only as a community leader, but as a lifelong 5th Ward resident, friend, neighbor, and mother of two young adult children.

Although this violence was not random, it’s difficult to find comfort in that. When someone picks up a gun, we all suffer. Including the shooter. And for too many families, gun violence feels like a “normal” part of life.

Please know that our neighbor, police Chief Demitrous Cook, is using his resources to direct EPD and its partners in the investigations into these homicides.

The fundamental causes of this violence are far greater than any single institution, leader, incident, or philosophy. It's greater than any one beef. There is no single program or new hire that will magically solve our community problems or reverse the trauma.

There is no policing our way out of it or blaming our way out. This will take unity, one agenda, and pure intentions.

Everyone can participate in restoring safety:

-- Call the police and tell them what you know. -- Police: arrest the perpetrators. -- States Attorney: convict for gun crimes. -- Citizens: call for tighter gun legislation.

But most important, for