Stray bullets fired through Skokie living room window
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:18AM
SKOKIE — Minhaj Akhtar and his family wondered why their cat wasn’t sitting in his favorite place — in the window of their home on the 4700 block of Davis Street.
Instead, they found something a lot more disturbing: two bullet holes and a bullet fragment in their living room.
The bullet holes apparently were from shots fired the night before after a group of teenagers gathered outside in the area, police said.
Police responded to a call at 7:20 p.m. Nov. 24 reporting multiple shots fired on the 9100 block of Kilpatrick Avenue.
When police arrived, a group of youths were fleeing the scene, but at least two were apprehended on the 4500 block of Church Street.
One of the suspects, 16, of Evanston, was charged with unlawful use of weapons because he had brass knuckles in his possession, police said.
Most of the youths who gathered Nov. 24 did not live in Skokie, according to police.
In addition to the shots fired through Akhtar’s glass window, additional shots were fired into an attached residential garage on the 9100 block of Kilpatrick. A weapon related to the incident was found near the scene during a follow-up investigation, police said.
No injuries were reported, but the case remains under investigation. No one appeared to have been targeted when the shots were fired, police said.
Akhtar said the incident could have resulted in tragedy. His teenage son was home alone and watching the Bulls game in an upstairs room. Had he been in the living room, Akhtar said, the outcome could have been different.
“How many times have you heard about incidents on the South Side of Chicago where innocent people are killed because of shootings and stray bullets?” he said.
Akhtar has been concerned by increasing suspicious activity in the neighborhood mostly involving gathering teenagers or those driving by slowly in vehicles.
He has called police more than once, he said.
But police said that incidents of teenagers shooting off guns do not occur frequently in Skokie.
“The Police Department is taking this incident very seriously, and all investigative leads are being pursued,” police said in a release.
Police Chief Tony Scarpelli encouraged anyone who has suspicions about illegal activity to call police, but he also emphasized that police must abide by people’s constitutional rights.
“Just because kids are congregating on the corner, that doesn’t give police the legal right to detain or search them,” he said.
Anyone with information about the Nov. 24 incidents are encouraged to call the police department’s investigation division at 847-982-5958.
Skokie’s Crimes Tip Hotline is available for residents to leave anonymous non-emergency information. That number is 847-933-8477 and is available 24 hours a day.