Updated 1/2/12 – 2:28 p.m.

CHICAGO (STMW) — A 19-year-old man shot in the head early Monday in a gang-related in the Northwest Side Albany Park neighborhood appears to be the first homicide of the year in Chicago.

The man was a passenger in an SUV driving through an alley in the 3200 block of West Lawrence Avenue when he was shot about 2:30 a.m., police said. He was driven by a friend to Swedish Covenant Hospital and was later transferred to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition.

He was pronounced dead there at 4:24 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. His identity is not being released pending family notification.

Police say the man and some others pulled into an alley to relieve themselves when another group of people — about five to eight men — stepped out and started to throw up gang signs, police said.

One of the men then took out a gun and started shooting, striking the man.

No one is in custody early Monday and Grand Central Area detectives are investigating.

Although the man’s death appears to be the first homicide of the year, the death of a man shot by police is technically the city’s first homicide.

Just after midnight Sunday, police shot and killed Michael Smith, 52, in the 7200 block of South Campbell Avenue after he allegedly pointed a gun at officers.

Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Pat Camden said police officers heard gunshots in the vicinity of 72nd Street and Campbell Avenue and pulled into an alley to investigate. Officers saw a man in a backyard holding a gun.

Officers approached Smith, announced they were police and ordered him to drop the weapon, police said. Instead, Smith allegedly turned and fled on foot with officers in pursuit.

Officers ordered him to drop his weapon during the chase. However, Smith ran down some basement stairs and allegedly turned toward police with the gun in his hand, and police then shot him.

Smith was pronounced dead at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn at 12:59 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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