Prospect Heights police taking recent gang activity seriously, chief says

The firing of about 40 rounds of ammunition late Sunday night at Willow Trails Park in Prospect Heights was the latest in what the city's police chief calls a series of gang-related events in his and neighboring communities in recent weeks.

No one was injured Sunday in what Chief William Caponigro said appears to have been one gang's attempt to make a statement by firing toward the residences of rival gang members.

Officers were called at 11:47 p.m. to the park at the southeast corner of Apple Drive and North Burning Bush Lane, where they located about 40 spent rounds.

The members of the rival gangs are mostly 13-, 14-, and 15-year-olds, and local law enforcement also has heard complaints about their behavior from schoolteachers in the area, Caponigro said.

"It's more than anything I've seen in 12 to 14 years," he added.

"I want my residents to know we're not taking this lightly."

Recent action taken by a task force of Prospect Heights, Wheeling and Mount Prospect police officers included the arrest of a local gang leader on a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon in an unincorporated area near Des Plaines, Caponigro said.

As far as Sunday's shooting, Caponigro said there didn't appear to be an intent to hit anyone, as those present could have gone a lot closer to the residences than the 100 feet away they fired from.

Nevertheless, the activity is unacceptable to the police department and all who live in the area, Caponigro said.

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