A Chicago woman has been shot dead while social distancing outside a 7-Eleven store, as a spate of homicides sees the city record its deadliest day of violence in two years.
Alexandria Baute, 27, was gunned down Tuesday night as she lined up outside the convenience store in Chicago’s Logan Square area, according to authorities.
Police said the killing took place at around 8pm next to a 7-Eleven store, just blocks from the victim’s apartment.
Baute was following coronavirus social distancing rules standing in line with a friend to go into the store to buy cigarettes, officers told the Chicago Tribune.
Alexandria Baute, 27, was gunned down Tuesday night as she lined up outside the convenience store in Chicago’s Logan Square area while following social distancing rules, authorities said
The victim’s friend, who has not been named, went to lock up his bike and returned to find Baute lying on the ground, the Tribune reported.
‘He thought she tripped,’ Baute’s heartbroken father Jeffrey Baute told the Tribune.
The friend reportedly did not know she had been shot and rolled her over and saw that she was bleeding from the mouth.
Paramedics arrived on the scene and rushed her to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 8:45 pm, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
No arrests have been made in connection with the killing.
‘No one is in custody at this time,’ Chicago police spokeswoman Kellie Bartoli told the New York Post Thursday afternoon.
‘It remains an open and active investigation. No offender description is available.’
Police said the killing took place at around 8pm next to the 7-Eleven store pictured above, just blocks from the victim’s apartment
According to police, an individual fired eight rounds of bullets just a few blocks away from where Baute was shot that night.
It is not yet known if the two incidents are related.
Authorities are now tracking down surveillance footage from nearby businesses to try to identify a suspect, the Tribune reported.
Her father said a $6,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest of his daughter’s killer.
Jeffery paid tribute to his daughter as a ‘little rebel rocker’, who he said had been working at a tavern nearby until she lost her job when the city shuttered restaurants and bars mid-March and went into lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Baute was following coronavirus social distancing rules standing in line with a friend to go into the store to buy cigarettes. Her friend found her lying on the ground outside the store after he returned from locking up his bike. The victim had recently lost her job at a tavern when the city went into lockdown and shuttered restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic
Baute had only just returned to Chicago a couple of days before her murder, after she went to stay with her father in the suburbs for two weeks after the restaurant closed, he said.
‘She was awesome,’ he told the Tribune. ‘She was vibrant and happy. Full of life, independent and stubborn. She wanted to make people happy and to live life and to be happy.’
Baute’s brutal murder was one of eight homicides in Chicago on Tuesday, which saw the city record its deadliest day of violence in almost two years.
At least 21 people were shot that day, with eight killed across a series of homicides that ravaged the city – as it also grapples to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control.
In one incident, a five-year-old girl was gunned down in a drive-by shooting while she was sitting on a porch with three men in their 20s.
The girl survived after being shot in the left foot.
Two of the men survived but one of the men, aged 27, died in the attack.
In another incident, a 19-year-old man was found dead in a car with a gunshot wound to the head, after police responded to reports of gunfire.
Tuesday marked the most shootings the city has seen in at least a month and the deadliest day for homicides by gunfire since August 2018, when nine were shot dead.
Baute (pictured with her mother Patricia) had only just returned to Chicago a couple of days before her murder, after she went to stay with her father in the suburbs for two weeks after the restaurant she worked in closed
The spate of shootings is not showing signs of letting up, with another nine people shot, including two fatally, during a five-hour window on Wednesday.
Chicago’s top police chief condemned the spike in violence as a ‘pandemic’ that is diverting much-needed healthcare resources away from fighting the city’s coronavirus outbreak.
‘There are two pandemics in Chicago, and only one is virus induced,’ said interim police Superintendent Charlie Beck Wednesday.
‘Every one of those beds, everyone of those ER beds, taken up by a gunshot victim could be somebody’s grandmother, somebody with preexisting conditions, somebody that is in danger of losing their lives because of the pandemic.’
Beck added: ‘Every one of those cops, and there are dozens, who are pulled off the street in order to work one of these crimes cannot enforce social distancing, can’t do security at our public safety venues and our health safety venues.
‘They can’t watch over your home, and they can’t watch over your children.’
Mayor Lori Lightfoot also slammed the spike in violence during a press conference Wednesday.
‘Violence of any kind is never acceptable,’ she said.
Tuesday marked the most shootings Chicago has seen in at least a month and the deadliest day for homicides by gunfire since August 2018, when nine were shot dead, as the coronavirus lockdown is failing to slow violence
Interim police Superintendent Charlie Beck condemned the spike in violence as a ‘pandemic’ diverting resources from fighting the city’s coronavirus outbreak
‘But the fact that this is especially urgent now as our ability to treat all Chicagoans is being stretched to the breaking point, we cannot allow this to happen and we will not allow this to happen.
‘In the middle of this worldwide pandemic, our precious health resources need to be treating COVID patients and those needing acute care.
‘Every day we are measuring our precious heath care resources — the number of beds that we have in hospitals, ICU capacity. To be blunt, if our ICUs are filled with gunshot victims, our ability to respond to this COVID-19 crisis will unnecessarily be compromised.’
Before the surge in shootings, the stay-at-home order had appeared to curb the violence on the streets of the city.
Chicago recorded its lowest number of fatal shootings for the month of March in at least five years, according to the Tribune.
The state of Illinois is desperately trying to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control.
At least 528 people have died from the killer virus in the state and confirmed cases have reached 16,422, as of Thursday.