Updated 05/30/13 – 11:05 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 56-year-old Chicago woman – identified by a longtime friend as an unemployed single mother of five – was found gunned down on a sidewalk in the South Shore neighborhood overnight.

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CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports police officers found the woman shot in the head near 79th Street and East End Avenue, after officers on patrol heard gunshots in the area.

Residents in the area said they believe the woman was caught in gang crossfire, but police could not confirm the circumstances of the shooting.

The woman was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in critical condition, and she was later pronounced dead.

Lonzie O’Bannon, one of the victim’s closest friends and neighbors, identified her as Linda Mae Williams.

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Williams’ daughter was too distraught to talk to reporters Thursday morning.

O’Bannon said Williams was an unemployed single mother of five children, who faced a lot of adversities in life, but tried her best to survive with what she had. He said he saw her a couple hours before she was shot.

“She always had a positive attitude that life is alright, even though it was obvious that life was kicking her butt,” he said. “I just wish my friend didn’t have to die the way she died, but I’m so glad that the last time I saw her it was cool. It was just a feeling of, like you said, soul mate.”

O’Bannon said he heard gunshots that sounded like firecrackers around 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Later, police officers came by to tell him Williams had been shot and killed.

He said Williams children were grown and living on the South Side and southern suburbs.

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No one was in custody for the shooting as of Thursday morning.