4 Men, Boy Shot During Memorial Service
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UPDATED 04/13/11 11:04 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – A group of people was gathered to honor the memory of a crime victim, when five of them ended up getting shot themselves.
As CBS 2’s Susan Carlson reports, four grown men and a 10-year-old boy were wounded in the shooting, which happened Tuesday evening at 79th Street and Escanaba Avenue.
The group was gathered for a barbecue in an empty lot to commemorate the life of Fazon Robinson, 18, who was shot and killed at the same location last year in a gang-related incident.
The group put up a cross to honor Robinson, and put out a collection of stuffed animals and balloons as a memorial.
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Sometime between 8:30 and 9 p.m., a black car headed west on 79th Street slowed at the scene. Someone stuck a gun out the window and wounded five people, police said.
“I heard gunshots going off. I saw a crowd of people start running,” said witness Jay Jay Moore. “But I figured it was going to happen anyway, because of the gang violence that’s going on in the neighborhood. It’s getting worse and worse.
Four men were wounded. Three of them were able to get to hospitals on their own and were treated and released, but the fourth, a 26-year-old man had to be rushed to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn with a serious head wound. He was left in critical condition, and may be fighting for his life.
He remained in critical condition as of 11 a.m.
Other victims included a 23-year-old man and a 22-year-old man, both shot in the foot, and a 26-year-old man shot in both thighs, police said.
The 10-year-old boy was shot in the foot. He too was treated and released.
“My nerves are real bad,” said Angela Collins, 45, as she waited at South Shore Hospital for the boy, her injured grandson. “It just doesn’t make sense.”
On Wednesday morning, balloons remained tied to fences at the scene. Abandoned Styrofoam plates, aluminum foil and cooked meat in a cooler were unmoved from where they were left in the vacant lot where the barbecue was held. Weber grills also sat idle.
Neighbors decried the danger and violence that has befallen the neighborhood.
“It’s a shame that we can’t celebrate out here without something happening – you know, little kids getting hit,” said neighbor Kimberly Viverette. “Five people? That’s ridiculous.”
“We were just having a celebration for one man – Fazon – to rest in peace. He was a good kid, you know, he got killed over nothing,” Moore said.
Police say Fazon Robinson was targeted in a gang-related shooting on April 12, 2010.
Neighbors complain there are no police surveillance cameras on the block, even though they are mounted above other streets nearby.
“Really, people don’t really want to live with cameras being watched all the time,” Viverette said. “But the neighborhood’s not safe, so apparently we need cameras around here.”
But despite the lack of cameras, the police presence has increased dramatically near the scene. Police even broke up a group of people who gathered at the same corner where the shooting happened.
Calumet Area police detectives are investigating, and police believe the latest shooting might be linked to the incident last year in which Robinson was killed.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.