Forest Park police and emergency personnel at the corner of Madison St. and Circle in Forest Park last Saturday. | J. Martin Konecki/Facebook
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 || By Thomas Vogel for the Forest Park Review || @maywoodnews
Five Forest Park police officers stopped a van near Madison and Circle Avenues suspected of involvement in a Maywood shooting, Feb. 25 around 2 p.m.
The Maywood Police Department called Forest Park police following reports of a shooting involving two cars near 1st Avenue and Roosevelt Road in Maywood. Maywood police saw one car headed east on Roosevelt toward Forest Park.
At least one of the vehicles was part of a funeral procession for the victim of a gang shooting, Forest Park Police Chief Tom Aftanas said.
Just minutes earlier, Forest Park police units had been monitoring the same funeral procession as it headed west along Roosevelt Road. The department had received several calls from frustrated residents about the procession.
“People were driving recklessly into oncoming traffic,” Aftanas said. “People were hanging out of the windows, out of the sun roofs.”
Alerted by Maywood police, Forest Park police were looking for the van. One officer spotted a blue 2005 Dodge Caravan with a funeral sticker heading northbound on Desplaines Avenue “at a high rate of speed,” according to reports.
The van blew the red light at the intersection of Desplaines and Jackson Boulevard and the officer lost sight of it. Another officer saw the Caravan stopped in traffic at Madison Street and Circle Avenue.
Pulling alongside, the officer saw bullet holes in the driver’s-side door and a funeral sticker on the windshield. The officer pulled in front of the van, blocking its path. Other squad cars soon arrived and surrounded the van.
Aftanas said officers drew their weapons because they did not know if the occupants were armed. There were five women in the vehicle, he said.
“They were not listening to officers. They were not listening to orders,” he said. “They were really uncooperative. They wouldn’t say much.”
According to a police report on the incident, the driver did not respond to orders to exit the vehicle or get on the ground. Only after one officer said he would release Canine Killian, the police K-9 unit, did she comply. The driver was bleeding from the leg, but the car’s door stopped the bullet enough to keep it from entering her body, said Aftanas.
“She was bleeding,” he said. “But [the bullet] didn’t go in.”
Maywood police came and took the van’s passengers to Maywood for questioning, Aftanas said. No Forest Park officers fired their weapons. No shots were fired in Forest Park.
The Forest Park Police Department is not involved in the shooting investigation because it did not occur in the village.
The Dodge Caravan was towed by the Maywood Police Department. It is unclear where the vehicle was registered and where the five passengers were from. Multiple attempts to contact Maywood police were unsuccessful. VFP