Chicago (CBS) — Flashing lights are no stranger to one of the wealthiest parts of Chicago. The River North area, known for its nightlife and restaurants, is in a police district that’s experienced more than a 60 percent increase in crime in the past four years.
Homicides are rare, but the overnight killing of an off-duty Chicago police officer happened within a seven-minute walk of another River North murder.
Police announced the arrest of Armond Williams Friday. They say Williams fired his gun during a fight with the bouncer.
Saturday is the one-year anniversary of Miguel Beedle’s murder. He was outside a River North club when police say Gino Bassett saw Beedle counting cash, followed him to an alley and tried to rob him. Bassett is accused of stabbing the father of three in the neck, killing him.
Robbery also appears to be the motive of a River North mystery woman.
Police believe she targeted partygoers by posing as an Uber and Lyft driver, then robbing riders at least nine different times last summer.
CBS 2 asked police — what’s up with crime in River North?
“Anywhere you go, if you mix alcohol and people with illegal guns, there’s a possibility something could occur,” CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said.
But, the superintendent was mostly talking about thefts and disturbances. As for the double digit increase of overall crime in the neighborhood?
“We’ll certainly dig into it and see if there is a particular pattern down there,” Johnson said.
Within a half-mile radius of the latest River North tragedy, police data shows 20 serious incidents in a span of only two weeks.
Chicago police say in addition to its patrols in the area, River North is also well-covered by surveillance cameras run by both the city and private businesses.