KANKAKEE — Kankakee police are investigating an apparent drive-by shooting that occurred in the 400 block of South Lincoln Avenue on Monday afternoon.
Shots rang out at about 3:20 p.m., as an Illinois Central School Bus was stopping to drop off Kankakee District 111 students in the middle of the block.
“I was coming out to get the kids off the bus when I heard the shots,” said a woman who has lived on the block for 10 years. She has a daycare.
“The bus driver was yelling, ‘No. No. No,’ as the car passed it. [She] drove off with the kids on the bus to keep them safe. That was smart.
“I ran inside [my house] and got my kids in there on the floor and waited.”
No one was injured. An unoccupied car was hit by gunfire, but no homes were hit.
"We are taking extra measures, including stepped up patrols of the area, to deter future shootings and identify and arrested the offender(s)," Police Chief Frank Kosman said on Tuesday.
Witnesses said the car was northbound on Lincoln, and the bus was southbound.
Kankakee police cordoned off the block between East Bourbonnais and East Hickory streets.
Witnesses told investigators the suspected shooter was a male in a silver or gray passenger car, Kosman said.
Several shell casings were found in the street. As officers and investigators worked the scene, children, some with parents, walked by on their way home from school.
One woman found the front windshield of her car had a bullet hole in it. She just had the front windshield replaced because there was a crack in it.
A man who resides on the block said the shootings have been occurring in the area for at least the past year. Houses and cars have been hit by gunfire.
“The police got to know who is doing this,” he said.
District 111 Superintendent Generva Walters said there is a four to six block radius in that area where this is occurring.
“We have a lot of children and families who live in this area. It is a small percentage of people doing this,” she said.
Lincoln Cultural Center and King Middle School are located two blocks to the north of where Monday’s incident occurred.
Walters met with Second Ward Alderwoman Stacy Gall and Alderman Michael O’Brien as well as other officials on Sept. 10 in regard to the shootings. Gall said they will hold a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at Steuben Elementary, 520 South Wildwood Avenue.
There have been at least three other reports of recent shootings or shots fired in the area.
On Sept. 3, officers were called to the 300 block of South Lincoln Avenue for a report of shots fired. Several shell casings were found. There was no damage found nor suspects located.
On Aug. 31, a man and woman, both 25 years old, were shot while they were on a porch in the 600 block of South Poplar Avenue. Both victims sustained nonlife-threatening injuries to their lower bodies. The offender or offenders fired on the couple from the other side of the street.
On Aug. 30 in the 600 block of South Nelson Avenue, a home was hit by gunfire.