Thursday, January 22, 2015

UPDATE: Gunmen Likely Targeted Underground Poker Game; Vice Unit Opens Investigation

An armed robber shoots at an off-duty sheriff last night
in Roscoe Village. (WLS-TV)
Vice detectives and other investigative units are “all over” last night’s armed robberies in the 1900 block of Belmont in which gunfire was exchanged between the offenders and a Cook County Sheriff.

The sheriff told police that he had stepped out of a poker tournament when he wandered into a robbery in progress behind 1911 W. Belmont. The offenders turned their guns on the sheriff, robbed him, then exchanged gunfire.

Investigators believe the two gunmen may have intended to target the underground poker game itself, which was operating in a vacant storefront.

32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waugespack tells us that there are two investigations underway tonight, “one for the shooting and one for the vice activity. Neighbors were very helpful in getting the investigation going and helping police.”

Neighbors reportedly believed that the storefront was vacant. But, closer examination revealed new surveillance cameras have recently been installed in a neighboring gangway, possibly placed there by the gambling operators.

“The vice team has just placed orange cease and desist placards on the front door of the building being used for gambling,” Waugespack says, “They are also trying to track down the tenant to question him about the ‘social club’ activity in the building.”

An administrator at the nearby Friedrich Jahn Elementary School called 911 this morning and told police something they already knew: Bullets from last night’s gunfight shattered windows at the school, 3149 N. Wolcott.

Part of the shoot-out was caught on a nearby business’s surveillance system. ABC7Chicago has that for you.