Not far from Lincoln Park's North Pond, where neighbors paused to watch a brood of ducklings Saturday afternoon, one man was shot and two other people were run down by a vehicle hours earlier in a suspected gang-related attack. "This is Lincoln Park," said Ann Nordsell, 45, who stopped on her way home Saturday to watch the ducks waddle in the shallow water near Lincoln Park Zoo. She was astonished to learn that gang violence had spilled over into her lakefront neighborhood. "I don't believe it." Police said the three victims — two men and one woman — had been hanging out at about 4 a.m. near a bike path at 2400 Cannon Drive, just south of Fullerton Parkway and north of the zoo, when multiple vehicles approached. One veered over a curb, striking a 25-year-old man before turning around and running down the woman, 21. Police said someone began shooting from inside one of the vehicles as they drove away, wounding the second man, 26. All three were taken to area hospitals, and police had portions of the park cordoned off with yellow tape for hours. But by Saturday afternoon there was no sign that the sprawling lakefront park had been the scene of such violence. Beachgoers dragging coolers and pushing strollers plodded along Fullerton toward the sand while a steady stream of families crossed the busy road traveling to and from the zoo. Beth Thomas-Welch, 38, held tight to the hands of her sons, ages 4 and 6, as they peered into water behind Notebaert Nature Museum searching for fish. The family had traveled from the Milwaukee area to visit relatives in Lincoln Park and see area attractions. "It's so beautiful here; you have the park and the lake. We went to the zoo this morning," Thomas-Welch said. "Of course, it feels safe right now. But this is still a big city with big-city problems." The Lincoln Park shooting occurred a little more than 24 hours after another outburst of violence in a city neighborhood normally thought immune to gang-related crime. Shortly after midnight Thursday, a 31-year-old man with gang ties was shot downtown near Michigan Avenue and Ontario Street. Police said the victim stepped out of his vehicle and used a metal pipe to smash the window of an SUV, then a person inside it leaned out of the window and opened fire. The man, who police described as the aggressor, suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Police said Saturday night no arrests had been made in connection with either incident. As for Nordsell, who likes to walk her Yorkie in the park at night, Saturday's shooting may have a lasting impression. "I might rethink doing that," she said. "Why dance with the devil?"
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