Gunfire strikes Riverside home, riddles vehicle left at scene

Several rounds fired during incident that began at Harlem Ave. gas station

March 24th, 2020 3:14 PM

Updated: Mar. 31st, 2020 1:14 PM

Riverside police cordoned off the gas pumps and parking lot of the Amstar gas station on March 16 after an altercation there erupted in gunfire. Two shell casings were found at the scene. Photo courtesy of the Riverside Police Department)

By Bob Uphues


Riverside police are still pursuing leads involving a March 16 incident where several gunshots were fired during an altercation in the 300 block of East Quincy Street, one of them, a .45-caliber slug, penetrating the front door of a home and lodging in the living room wall.

Police Chief Thomas Weitzel said the incident appears to have begun as some kind of altercation in the parking lot of the Amstar gas station at 3346 Harlem Ave. at about 7:10 p.m. Police reported recovering two .45-caliber shell casings on the driveway apron of the gas station.

Two adults and four children were inside the house at the time of the shooting. Police say the house was not targeted but was hit by a stray round. No one in the home was injured, although paramedics responded to the scene as a precaution.

In addition, police recovered a 2004 Chevy Silverado in the driveway of the home that had been struck by gunfire. The vehicle had been hit on the driver's side by three .45-caliber rounds. One struck the side mirror and two struck the front quarter panel, police said. The Silverado was registered to a Skokie address, which reportedly is a parking lot.

Police said the Silverado had been abandoned in the driveway by one of the parties involved in the shooting. That party then allegedly stole a 2006 Chevy Uplander from a home a couple of doors away and fled the scene.

The Uplander reportedly had been left running and unlocked in the driveway of the nearby home, and police say it appears to have been happenstance that such a convenient getaway vehicle was available to the person who abandoned the Silverado.

"It's strange, but it appears to be a coincidence," said Weitzel, who added that as of March 30, the Uplander had not been recovered.

According to Weitzel, the Silverado was towed from the scene and police subsequently obtained a search warrant for the vehicle. Inside, police reported finding several loose rounds of .40-caliber ammunition and cannabis that was packaged for legal sale.

Weitzel said the cannabis appears to have been delivered to Skokie from California.

"We're trying to run that part down," Weitzel said.

It's not clear how many people were involved in the shooting or how many vehicles were involved, but it appears to have been at least two vehicles.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to email tips to Detective James Lazansky at or call 708-447-2127.


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