A 23-year-old man was killed and a 35-year-old female was injured Saturday night after they were shot while stopped at a red light at the intersection of North and Harlem avenues in River Forest, according to a news release issued by the River Forest Police Department.
According to the Cook County medical examiner’s office, Steven Ward, 23, was pronounced dead at 11:29 p.m. Saturday. The medical examiner’s office stated on Sunday that Ward died of multiple gunshot wounds and said it was a homicide.
Police said both people who were shot were from Chicago, but they did not identify them. According to the release, police said the man was a “self-reported documented gang member.” Police said the woman’s injuries were not life-threatening.
Police said they were called at 10:41 p.m. According to the release, an SUV was stopped at the red light when a silver sedan pulled up behind it. A man got out of the sedan and approached the SUV, then fired “numerous shots at and into the victim’s vehicle,” police said. Police said the vehicle rolled into the middle of the intersection, adding that the sedan was last seen heading east on North Avenue. Police said the man who fired the shots was wearing a hoodie.
According to the release, the West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force will lead the investigation.
“Even though a preliminary analysis of the event points to a targeted gang-style assassination, no other motives or alternative theories are being ruled out by investigators,” police stated in the release. “This investigation is in the very early stages with numerous witnesses, physical evidence and video footage to manage.”
In the release, River Forest Police Chief James O’Shea said the incident “appears to be spillover gang-related violence stemming from activities in the city of Chicago.”
“At this time there [are] no additional threats or safety concerns to residents or those traveling through the River Forest area,” O’Shea said in the release. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families, and we commend the sense of civic duty that witnesses displayed at the crime scene.”
Police from Oak Park, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Melrose Park and Chicago provided assistance, according to the release.