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Sun-Times Reporter Witnesses Shooting While Covering Murder

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Chicago Sun-Times reporter wrote of witnessing a second shooting Tuesday evening as he covered a memorial gathering for a 15-year-old boy who was shot dead in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Jovany Diaz was shot and killed Monday evening as he celebrated his 15th birthday near his home in the 4300 block of West Hirsch Street. A 19-year-old friend was shot and wounded in the attack.

Diaz was pronounced dead at 10:46 p.m. Monday at Mount Sinai Medical Center, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Meanwhile, Sun-Times reporter Kim Janssen wrote that while covering a gathering of mourners before a makeshift shrine Tuesday evening, he witnessed another shooting just five yards away. Someone fired a handgun into the sky, then aimed the gun down Kildare Avenue and fired two or three shots, Janssen wrote.

Janssen wrote that he fled with the others who had gathered, and saw a second teen jump over the railing of a balcony while wielding a semi-automatic handgun. After taking refuge in a nearby home, Janssen wrote, he returned to find one of the teens sitting in a plastic share, with a gunshot wound that left him “bleeding from the leg and turning a shade of grayish green.”

The victim wouldn’t comment, and witnesses would not talk to police at the scene about it, Janssen wrote.

The victim in the incident was shot in both legs and was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in stable condition, police said.

As for Diaz, he was a freshman at Amundsen High School, miles away at 5110 N. Damen Ave. He enjoyed playing basketball in Kedvale Park near his home, and he was not a gang member, according to residents and police.

“He’s no troublemaker,” said Mohammad Abu, manager of the Dania Food Mart on a corner of Kildare and Hirsch. “He goes to school, comes home and plays basketball.”

In Diaz’s murder, police said they only have a sketchy description of a gray or silver getaway car. They say the motive for the killing is unknown.

Shootings near memorials for murder victims aren’t unheard of in Chicago; in May, five people — including a 10-year-old boy — were shot near a memorial for a man slain on the Southeast Side.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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