Shots fired at Chicago's North Avenue Beach during large fight, police say

Just hours after opening for the summer, gunfire rang out at North Avenue Beach during a large fight on Friday, police said.

About 80 to 100 teenagers were gathered at the beach around 1:26 p.m. when the fight broke out and one person pulled out a gun and fired it, according to police.

No one was struck by the gunfire, and a juvenile was taken into custody. Charges were pending, police said.

Police also said they had not recovered the gun.

The shooting came just hours after the city's 22 beaches officially opened for the summer.

Brandon Ellington, Brittany Ball and Miguel Segundo stopped off at the beach Friday afternoon, but were kicked off the sand because of the shooting. Friday was Ball’s and Segundo’s one chance to hit the beach for the weekend thanks to work.

"This is my first day off all week and then I work through the weekend," Ball said. "This was the one day I had."

The three friends were hoping to enjoy the first weekend for open beaches. "What a way to kick off summer," Segundo said.

Mikaylah Willis came up from St. Louis for the weekend to celebrate her son’s 7th birthday. They started their day in Chinatown before coming to the beach Friday afternoon.

Willa said she didn’t know about the shooting until they got to the beach. "It happens, unfortunately. But we’re still going to enjoy our weekend," Willis said. "[Shootings] just seem to be a part of life now."

Willis said they still plan on visiting the city’s beaches while they’re in town. "It’s important you try and not let it scare you and live on with your life," she said.

Ahead of Memorial Day, Mayor Brandon Johnson and other city leaders on Thursday unveiled their public safety plan. Officials are looking to avoid a repeat of last year's dangerous holiday weekend.


In 2022, Chicago experienced its most violent Memorial Day weekend in five years, with nine people killed, and 42 others wounded in shootings across the city.

"My administration’s top priority is making sure there is a comprehensive whole-of-government strategy across our city that is keeping everyone safe," said Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Johnson’s public safety plan isn't just focused on policing, but on community engagement, too.

"This weekend, the soul of Chicago will be on display for residents, families and visitors," said Johnson.

Additionally, 30 peacekeepers working through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will be on the ground in various neighborhoods this weekend to deter violence.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.