Patti Sullivan, the widow of Eugene "Skip" Sullivan, who was a teacher and coached varsity baseball and other sports at Oak Lawn Community High School, thanked the Oak Lawn Village Board Tuesday night for proclaiming Tuesday, May 17, as "Skip Sullivan Day" in the village. She was accompanied by her son, Mike Sullivan, and daughter, Dana Annel. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Patti Sullivan, the widow of Eugene "Skip" Sullivan, who was a teacher and coached varsity baseball and other sports at Oak Lawn Community High School, thanked the Oak Lawn Village Board Tuesday night for proclaiming Tuesday, May 17, as "Skip Sullivan Day" in the village. She was accompanied by her son, Mike Sullivan, and daughter, Dana Annel. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Road rage shooting upsets Oak Lawn officials

Village proclaims Skip Sullivan Day

By Joe Boyle

Rising crime has Oak Lawn officials concerned, especially after reports of a road rage shooting that took place in the village Tuesday night just before the village board meeting.

According to Oak Lawn Police Chief Dan Vittorio, two men began shouting at each other from their vehicles while driving in the southbound lanes near 105th and Cicero about 6 p.m. The driver of a white SUV pulled into a parking lot at 106th Place, while the other man pulled into a lot at 107th Street, according to Vittorio.

One man began to exit his truck to continue the argument with the driver of the SUV. It was at this point, the driver of the SUV drew a weapon and shot the victim twice, according to Vittorio. The victim was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center and underwent surgery. His current condition was not available.

Oak Lawn police happened to be in the area. They tried to stop the SUV, along with members of the Alsip police. Police then pursued the driver of the SUV, who drove onto I-294 going southbound.

The shooter was reportedly driving over 100 miles per hour and police then decided to end the pursuit. Vittorio said they are still looking for the man and that this is still an open investigation.

“We are in living in dangerous times at the end of the day there are just some really bad people out there,” Village Manager Tom Phelan said during the meeting. “And these people don’t care if they get caught. Many of them know that they won’t be charged.”

Mayor Terry Vorderer said that some of these incidents are becoming far too common throughout Chicago and the suburbs. A shooting took place Tuesday afternoon at a Romeoville bank that resulted in a fatality. One teen was shot and killed and four other teens injured by gunfire during an incident earlier Tuesday afternoon in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Phelan said that he was aware that crime is rampant, but points out that the Oak Lawn police are working diligently to make arrests and charge the offenders accordingly.

“You can trust in this board and the police department,” said Phelan, adding that officers often have to have overwhelming evidence so that charges can be made by the justice system.

He referred to a recent incident where a woman was a victim of a carjacking in Oak Lawn. Phelan said that he is concerned about this female victim, not the offenders.

“I don’t care about these people who commit these crimes,” Phelan said. “But we are on this, I can tell you that.”

In related news, Vittorio said that they are adding more police officers. He said this is encouraging after several years of lower numbers. A canine unit will again be added to the force, he said.

Skip Sullivan Day

Vorderer proclaimed Tuesday, May 17 as “Skip Sullivan Day” in honor of the late head baseball coach at Oak Lawn Community High School. Eugene “Skip” Sullivan, who was also known as “Sully,” died Nov. 25, 2021 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 70 years old.

Sullivan grew up in Oak Lawn and was a three-sport star at the high school in the 1960s, excelling in basketball, baseball and football. He also starred in baseball and football at Iowa State University. He began teaching and coaching at Oak Lawn High School in 1973.

Vorderer pointed to his accomplishments and his loyalty to the high school and Oak Lawn. The varsity baseball field will be named in his honor along with a street near the park during a ceremony at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, before the game against Reavis.

“This is a great community,” Vorderer said. “Skip Sullivan was born and raised in Oak Lawn. This is a great local success story.”

In attendance was his wife, Patti Sullivan; daughter, Dana Annel; and son, Mike Sullivan.

“We know he would be very humbled by this,” said his daughter. “On behalf of him, we really appreciate this.”

Trustee Alex Olejniczak (2nd) said that Sullivan had a major impact on Oak Lawn High School and the community.

“Your father was an extremely great leader,” Olejniczak said. “He was a tremendous role model and a tremendous person.”

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