The Chicago Police Department is looking for a man who appeared to pull out a handgun and point it at a WFLD Channel 32 news crew while they reporting a story on gun violence on Wednesday.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, the suspect drew his weapon while walking behind journalist Joanie Lum, who was reporting during Fox 32-TV’s live morning newscast on the corner of Clark and Hubbard in River North. The gunman did not fire any rounds.
Police described the gunman as an 18 to 25-year-old black male around 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing between 130 and 150 pounds. He was wearing a dark hoodie, a black jacket and torn, light blue jeans with dark shoes.
“It happened to @JoanieLum and her photog at 7:06am. The gun was one foot from her head as he pointed at the camera or cameraman Gary. She is understandably shaken. Thank God she is okay,” Fox 32 anchor Anita Padilla tweeted.
Viewers of the program called into the station to voice their concerns.
“Thank you to the viewers who were watching Good Day Chicago and called or emailed to make sure our crew was okay,” Fox 32 said.
Lum appeared to be taking the frightening close encounter in stride – after the incident, she tweeted about having to choose between cake or beer after “an eventful day.”
“After an eventful day the question was cake or beer? I chose cake. Was I wrong?” she tweeted, ending the message with a smiley face emoji.
Anyone with information is urged to call detectives at 312/744-8261 or contact the anonymous tip line at www.cpdtip.com.
Chicago continues to be plagued by deadly gun violence – the city has seen a 64 percent spike in downtown shootings as of April 30, according to The Chicago Sun Times.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said earlier this month that she’s “not happy” about gun violence in the city and urged city officials to “step up our efforts downtown.”
“Particularly distressing is, again, the number of young people that seemingly are involved in acts of violence,” Lightfoot added. “It’s clearly not acceptable, and that’s why we’ve got to keep doing, I think, the things that we know are working.”
Chicago police told Fox 32 that over 250 children were victims of gun violence in 2021, including at least 41 who were fatally shot.
“What you’re seeing is the people who have guns have absolutely no regard for the sanctity of life,” Lightfoot said at the time. “And unfortunately our children are becoming victims.”