Security Concerns at West Side Condos as Crime Rise

CHICAGO — Zena Walker has lived in her Sawyer Gardens apartment in Lawndale for eight years, but lately she’s been afraid to live there.

“This building is a child. This building is a family building. We are not safe. It is not safe around her,” Walker said.

A mother of four children told WGN News just before Christmas that more than 10 shots were fired.

Sawyer Gardens apartment resident Zena Walker pushes open an unsafe door inside the building. (Photo: WGN)

“The building shook,” she said.

A few months ago in May, a bullet pierced the window of our third-floor apartment with our children inside.

Tenant Angela Parker said the bullet went through the window and hit the wall.

Over Mother’s Day weekend, 27-year-old Marquita Davis was shot dead in front of a building. Walker said he saw everything unfold from the window.

“She walked around the car and when she got to the other side of the back seat, she collapsed,” Walker said.

Since then, residents say security is a concern. Residents said the door on the back of the building was left open at all times. At the front door, a resident used his fingerprint to unlock the door, but the device malfunctioned. Then the building’s key fob system stopped working.

“I have a phone that’s supposed to buzz and buzz people, but it doesn’t work,” says Walker. “The elevator remains broken.”

Concern is growing as the area is high in crime. Since January 1, 2022, the Chicago Data Portal shows him 5 murders, 13 non-fatal shootings, and 26 armed robberies within a 4-block radius. The data also show that there were 70 assaults, 12 handguns and 12 robberies.

“They say they can’t really do anything about what’s going on because the cameras aren’t working,” Parker said. ”

Heartland Sawyer Gardens purchased the property in 2020, according to Cook County records.

Residents said a new landlord recently took over and is making new locks, but they charge $50 each.

Meanwhile, many tenants are worried that someone might get hurt.

“We don’t have any support. God knows we have people coming in and out of this building with our lives in danger,” Walker said.

WGN News has contacted the building owner and is awaiting a response. WGN News also reached out to Ald. Michelle Scott (24th Ward said she was aware of the issue and was looking into it. Security Concerns at West Side Condos as Crime Rise

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