Humboldt Park residents blame block parties for fatal shooting, violence

CHICAGO – Some neighbors are saying rowdy block parties are to blame for two shootings in Humboldt Park recently.

One of those shootings killed an 18-year-old this weekend as children played in the street on a bounce house.

Neighbors said their alderman is the one who actually organizes these block parties. But they say the parties are bringing unwanted trouble to the neighborhood and the shootings this summer in Humboldt Park have gotten out of hand.

One fatal shooting happened during a block party on Saturday, August 26 on the 3300 block of Potomac in Humboldt Heights.

“I mean we heard the gunshot here and everybody was kind of like looking down that way,” one resident said.

According to the fliers, featuring 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado, a chance to meet new neighbors. Kids gathered in the street with a bounce house, and then in a flash, 18-year-old Adrian Lopez fell to the ground.

“This block party was to the point where there was intoxication in the public way. There was got out of hand,” Adam Corona, a neighbor, said.

Minutes after Lopez was shot, you can see children from the neighborhood coming up to look at the body on the sidewalk. Kids live up and down the block. Just days later, a woman was shot in the face while she sat in her car around the corner from the memorial.

“My wife and I woke up at about 1 a.m., our eyes wide open, we looked at each other and I initially thought it was firecrackers but it turned out to be around 10, 12 different shots,” Sebastian Dassouli, a neighbor, said.

In a video, you can see her stumble out of her car as the group she was with scatters to drive away.

Neighbors said gang tensions flared this week. They feel police have been slow to respond as they brace for possible retaliation shootings. And while some neighbors say this kind of violence would happen anyway, many neighbors said the alderman’s block parties have invited trouble this summer.

“Would I like to see the block parties eliminated? Maybe for a while,” Luis Carrion, a neighbor, said.

“I think the block parties are making everything worse because it’s just attracting a whole different population, people that don’t even live on this block,” Dassouli said.

WGN spoke to people Friday afternoon who didn’t want to go on camera. They said they don’t blame the alderman for what happened last weekend. But they do wonder where the money is coming from to throw these parties.

The alderman did not attend the block party this weekend. WGN reached out to him but did not hear back.