Man shot outside DeKalb apartment complex in third shooting since Monday

Nearby DeKalb High School, Jefferson Elementary School initiate precautionary lockdown

DeKalb Police officers hang tape at the scene of a shooting Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, at West Ridge Apartments in DeKalb.

DEKALB – A man is in serious condition after he was shot Wednesday afternoon outside West Ridge Apartment complex in DeKalb, the third in what police say is a string of unrelated gun violence this week.

As a result – mirroring responses to a separate, unrelated shooting midday Monday during which a teenager was shot blocks from an elementary school – nearby DeKalb High School and Jefferson Elementary School were placed on a brief lockdown “out of an abundance of caution,” DeKalb District 428 officials wrote in a social media post.

DeKalb police responded to the 900 block of Ridge Drive about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, said DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd. He said officers found a man lying on the sidewalk outside an apartment building and began to perform CPR life-saving measures until paramedics arrived. The man was taken to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital in serious condition.

When asked whether the man was taken to the hospital alive, Byrd said, “Unknown, he’s in serious condition.”

Nearby schools in District 428 brought anyone outside into school buildings, and no one was allowed to enter during the community emergency protocol lockdown, which was lifted about 6 p.m.

“In an abundance of caution these schools are taking precautionary measures including bringing all adults and students who were outside the building back into the building,” DeKalb school district officials wrote. “All will be kept in the building until the district is given the all clear by the DeKalb Police Department.”

DeKalb police, including Byrd, and officers from Northern Illinois University remained on the scene for several hours Wednesday. No persons of interest were in police custody as of 6:30 p.m.

“You have a subject at large,” Byrd said. “But like I said, I believe this was more of a targeted incident.”

DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd (right) hands a shield back to an officer at the scene of a shooting Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, at West Ridge Apartments in DeKalb.

Police roped off the parking lot with tape, and blocked the entrance of the apartment complex to vehicle traffic at Blackhawk Road and Ridge Drive. A citywide emergency alert message was sent about 4:30 p.m. alerting resident to avoid the area, and it said police would be on the scene for two hours.

Several scheduled sporting events were delayed temporarily Wednesday at the high school because of the lockdown, which was meant to bar anyone from entering or exiting the school building. Entry was allowed again about 6 p.m.

It’s the third shooting where injuries have been reported throughout DeKalb’s north side since Monday. A male teenager was seriously injured after he was shot on a sidewalk near Eighth and East Taylor streets – near Founders Elementary School – was taken to Kishwaukee hospital and then transferred to OSF Saint Anthony’s in Rockford.

“He’s in good condition,” Byrd said of the teenager Wednesday. Two persons of interest remained in police custody as of Wednesday, Byrd said. No charges have been announced for that incident.

A DeKalb Fire Department ambulance leaves the scene of a shooting Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, at West Ridge Apartments in DeKalb.

And on Tuesday night, a woman was shot just a block over on Ridge Drive during an incident initially reported as domestic in nature. However, Byrd said Wednesday that police believe the shooting occurred after an isolated argument. A suspect in that incident also remains at large.

“It’s a little bit of a pattern right now,” Byrd said. “Yeah, there has been a rash of shootings.”

DeKalb’s top cop said authorities have increased police patrols in the area, although that’s not a new protocol. He said the DeKalb Police Department is in the process of hiring more officers to help increase police visibility.

“We’re trying to combat exactly what happened today on a daily basis,” Byrd said. “At the end of the day, we’re not going to police our way out of this. There’s a lot of factors involved. Conflict resolution is a large part of this. We have to learn how to resolve conflict without killing and shooting each other.”

He said residents should be aware the difference between shots-fired calls – often reported by the city’s emergency alert system via text, email or phone call – and confirmed shootings.

“Confirmed means there’s a crime scene, we found either damage, someone injured or shell casings,” he said.

Byrd said the public should be aware that while suspects remain at large in at least two of the recent shootings, investigators don’t believe they’re connected.

“What we don’t have is a gang war going on, people retaliating back and forth,” Byrd said. “But we do have some issues, the inability to resolve conflict without a violent manner. That goes way beyond the scope of law enforcement, and we have to do better. We’re going to have to tackle this as a community.”

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