Jerry Powell heard the shots from the balcony of his new luxury apartment in the South Loop early Tuesday.
He asked his partner, who was sitting outside with him, "fireworks or gunfire?" It sounded like a big boom followed by a succession of about six loud noises. It came from behind the neighboring Target parking garage at West Roosevelt Road and South Clark Street.
After getting calls from residents just after midnight, police officers found an 18-year-old man there, shot in the abdomen and buttocks. The teenager was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition, police said. The circumstances of the shooting were not known, police said.
The sounds and alarming discovery didn’t entirely surprise Powell, who has lived in the building next door for about nine months. The shooting was another example of security issues Powell has flagged since moving to1000 South Clark. And he thinks the trouble stems from Target when it’s not supervised at night.
A media representative from Target could not be reached on Tuesday.
In January, a man fired a gun, robbed a woman and carjacked another person inside the Target parking garage.
"It seems to be an area where they allow a lot of parking in there overnight," Powell said Tuesday morning. "They don’t enforce their parking, and it seems to be a hot spot for drug activity and middle of the night less-than-desirables, so it’s no surprise that this has occurred here."
Two months after the Target carjacking, authorities arrested a 19-year-old in Atlanta and charged him with a string of carjackings from the same day. Carnell King, of the 6900 block of South Merrill Avenue, was charged in connection with the Jan. 10 incidents.
Media outlets at the time reported that the gunman first stole a woman’s purse and then fired half a dozen shots at the second woman as he was trying to steal her car, which had her newborn in it. The woman was able to grab her baby in time, and no one was hit by the shots, though he did make off with her BMW.
Powell said the gunman also fired at him as he rushed to help.
He said he is disappointed that Target hasn’t made changes to better secure their property since January.
"We’re actually moving from the neighborhood because of some of the safety concerns," Powell said. "Target doesn’t appear to have taken any corrective actions to secure the premises at night. They do not have security patrolmen to enforce the parking. It’s just a constructive nuisance to the neighborhood."
Anyone can drive into the parking garage because there are no blockades, he said.
A narrow stretch of West Taylor Street separates the apartment building and the parking garage. Motorists turn onto Taylor and drive by the apartments to enter the garage. There are also railroad tracks and space behind the garage, which is where the 18-year-old man was found.
The 1000 South Clark building’s glass facade glistens 29 stories high. The 469-unit building opened in July 2016.
Numerous calls seeking comment from 1000 South Clark, the motto for which is, “the new urban in the South Loop,” went unreturned. Multiple leasing office representatives said a manager would answer questions, however, they eventually said they had “no comment.”
John Wright, 28, who also lives in the building, said he too is trying to move for safety reasons.
"I just wish they would secure this building more," he said, referring to the area around the apartment. "We moved here because we thought it was luxury and safe, and this isn’t safe at all."