Best Friends Fatally Shot in Chicago’s West Garfield Park

The carloads of relatives began arriving about two hours after the double homicide on Mother’s Day.

One woman sprinted toward an officer at the edge of the crime scene at West Madison Street and North Cicero Avenue in West Garfield Park about 4:40 a.m. Inside the yellow tape, a black sedan protruded from the wall of a building it crashed into and shell casings littered the street.

“How are we supposed to know if that’s our family?” asked the woman, who wearing a black dress with cutout shoulders. “He’s not picking up his phone.”

By the time the sun was rising, more people pulled up to the intersection frantically looking for detectives. They cried and hugged, trying to soothe one another with gentle back rubs.

A woman who identified herself as the aunt of one of the victims said the two men fatally shot in the car were best friends, but she did not specify which man was her relative.

“He had a nine to five [job.] He had never been in the streets,” she said through sobs. “He was our life. They was wrong. They don’t have to do that to him.”

The two men, ages 24 and 25, were fatally shot after a Chevy pulled up alongside them at a stoplight and someone inside opened fire. The victims continued driving and turned west on Madison as their car jumped the curb, crashed into a building next to a Mobile gas station and struck a disabled man in a wheelchair, who was taken to Stroger Hospital with injuries that were not life threatening.

The 24-year-old was fatally shot in the back and right arm. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The 25-year-old man was shot and taken to Loyola University Medical Center in critical condition. He was later pronounced dead.

In addition to the double homicide on the West Side, a 17-year-old boy was killed and eight others were wounded in shootings across the city, including a shooting on the outbound lanes of the Kennedy Expressway.

Bruce Hall, 53, watched the aftermath of the fatal West Garfield Park shooting unfold from the second story balcony of his brick apartment building. He said he heard about 8 gunshots and saw more than a dozen young people hanging out at the gas station when the shooting happened.

As Hall filmed the incident on his cell phone, he couldn’t help but think about the last time he took video of another shooting from his balcony. On March 30, an 18-year-old shot in a drive-by was left in critical condition. Hall said he believed that shooting stemmed from a dispute over a girlfriend.

“There’s no peace on this corner for long,” he said. “And on this of all days – Mothers’ Day. That’s two mothers who are going to be grieving.”

Earlier, the 17-year-old boy was shot about 8:35 p.m. in the 10500 block of South Lafayette Avenue in the Fernwood neighborhood, police said. He suffered gunshot wounds to the back and chest and was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man or boy went up to the boy and shot him, then fled on foot, police said.

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Source: Chicago Tribune | Elyssa Cherney

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