BB gunfire rattles Park Ridge residents, draws out police

Greg and Renee Fontana of Park Ridge were driving home Tuesday evening in the northbound lanes of  I-294 when suddenly their rear passenger window exploded.

"I  was just turning my head back and immediately I heard this humongous bang, crash right behind my head on the right. I looked and I saw all this glass shooting out," Renee Fontana said.

The Fontana's didn't hang around to see who was doing the shooting.

"First thing that popped into my head was gunfire. We were shot at. So, I  didn't want to stick around, just put it to the floor and got off at Dempster," Greg Fontana said.

The BB or pellet gun had punched a baseball-sized hole in the side window, spraying glass inside the car.

Within the hour two other vehicles traveling on Talcott Road in Park Ridge were also hit, breaking their windows. The shooters were apparently hiding in the woods that parallel the Des Plaines River Trail.

When police responded to a 911 call from one of the drivers, they were approached by a jogger.
"He saw two male teens, older teens, one wearing a black shirt and carrying what looked like a bb gun and running from the scene. So we secured the area but we were unable to find anybody at that time," Park Ridge Police Chief Lou Jogmen said.

However, it's not just Park Ridge.

Seven cars have been shot by BB's on Chicago's Far Northwest Side since May 31, including three the same night as the Park Ridge attacks.

Most of the shootings happened along Cumberland Avenue near wooded areas. Chicago police are planning to issue a community alert.

The Fontana's said that while some may view it as a prank, the consequences are potentially deadly.

"You need to know where your kids are at night, what they're doing. And teach them that's not right. We could have been killed," Renee Fontana said.

Park Ridge police are telling motorists to keep their car windows rolled up for the time being.

"We'd recommend anyone driving in the area for the time being, until we hopefully bring this to resolution, do that just to give them a little extra protection," Jogmen said.

Since the incidents, police have beefed up patrols along Talcott Road, especially in the wooded areas that the bb shooters appear to be using for cover.