Killing Season Chicago, Wicker Park, July 2011

Click on the names of the deceased on the right navigation panel to see images of the sites and information about the circumstances of their deaths.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2 More Dead in West Side Shootings

Paul Harris
25 years old
Police and paramedics responded shortly after 1:30 a.m. to the 1100 block of West Madison Street and found Harris lying on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to his torso. Police said Harris was shot across the street from the bar following an argument with an unknown assailant who took out a gun and shot him. Harris had not been in the bar. He was pronounced dead at 2:13 a.m. at Stroger Hospital.

Anthony Carter
18 years old
Carter was standing outside his West Garfield Park home Monday night, waiting for his grandmother to return from a neighborhood store with snacks. As his grandmother approached with potato chips and pop, she heard the sound of eight or nine gunshots fired. Carter was shot multiple times in the back. When officers arrived at the scene on the 4000 block of West Jackson Boulevard, they found Carter unresponsive.

Monday, August 30, 2010

1 Killed & at Least 6 Wounded in Shootings Overnight

David Johnson
31 years old
Preliminary reports said Johnson was found dead sitting in a vehicle with a gunshot wound to his head. The slaying happened shortly after 7 p.m. in the 1500 block of West 51st Street in the city's Back of the Yards neighborhood. Preliminary reports said the man was sitting in a parked vehicle when someone approached, pulled out a gun and shot him. He was pronounced dead at 7:37 p.m. at Stroger Hospital

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Update: Saturday Night (6)

Adolfo Guijardo-Soria
17 years old
At about 11:45 p.m. in Gage Park, Guijardo-Soria, was standing outside during a block party in the 5800 block of South Campbell Avenue when he was shot in the head. He was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:50 a.m.

Darrell McKinney
15 years old
McKinney was on a sidewalk in the 900 block of North Harding at about 8:40 p.m. at a block party in the Humboldt Park neighborhood when he was shot when a suspect opened fire on another man during a foot chase. He died a short time later. Witnesses told police that just prior to the shooting they saw a male in a black shirt chasing another male in a white shirt on Harding.

Wesley Taylor
23 years old
At about 6:30 p.m. two men were at a block party in the 4400 block of West Wilcox Street in the West Garfield Park neighborhood when they followed several people into an alley and got into a fight. Taylor was found lying in the alley. He was shot several times and pronounced dead at the emergency room at Mount Sinai Hospital.

An autopsy today showed that the woman whose body was found burned in a West Side alley Saturday morning was beaten to death. Officials determined that the woman had been assaulted and ruled the woman's death a homicide due to evidence of blunt head trauma. Her body was found when officers were called to the 2800 block of West Washington Avenue at about 4:30 a.m. Detectives are still trying to identify the woman, who was doused with an unknown flammable substance and ignited.

George Esco
57 years old
Esco had been the victim of a battery seven weeks ago at about 8 p.m. on July 10 in the 5300 block of West North Avenue. He was declared dead at 12:30 a.m. at Holy Cross Hospital. Following an autopsy today, the medical examiner's office determined Esco's death was a homicide, and that he died of head injuries from blunt head trauma in an assault.

Edward Ramos
24 years old
At about 12:10 a.m., police responded to a call for a man with a gunshot wound to his chest at the man's home on the 7000 block of West Grand Avenue in the Northwest Side Montclare neighborhood. According to preliminary information, three males kicked in a side door to a house and then fired shots, hitting him in the chest. Ramos was pronounced dead at 5:36 a.m. at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Dead From Gunshot Wound

Luis Perez
18 years old
On Wednesday, August 25th at about 4:40 p.m. police responded to the 5700 block of South Sawyer Avenue in the Gage Park neighborhood, where they found Perez with a gunshot wound to his right cheek. Preliminary reports indicated that Perez was standing on the street when a group approached in a car, shouted gang slogans and shot him. Perez had been taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center, but was pronounced dead two days after being shot at 4:10 a.m.

Week 13

click on image for much better view

There were 13 homicides this week. That is 6 less than last week, but still just over the average of 11 per week so far this summer. The average age of the dead this week was 27. That aligns with the median age of those killed all summer long. This week was a busy one for me. I spent 4 days photographing and made it to 30+ sites. I had both good and bad experiences. One of the most memorable was when I talked to the cousin of 13-year-old Robert Freeman, who was there when the boy was shot.

"Don't Shoot. I Want to Grow Up"

Policewoman C reappeared. She called me Tuesday night and apologized for not getting back to me for the past month. She said she was set to get me out to photograph on Wednesday. I went through my information and picked an area on the Far South Side to cover the next day. A & H picked me up at our meeting place and we headed south on the highway. We got off at 115th Street and after making a few wrong turns got back on track by using my phone’s GPS to head toward the 12400 block of South Eggleston Ave. where 20-year-old Samuel Coleman was shot and killed on August 1st. The block was mostly bungalows. This particular street looked a little more run down than those adjacent to it. I was surprised to find that yellow and red police tape was still wrapped around a tree and strewn on the grass in front of the address, which was an empty lot. A memorial of stuffed animals, liquor bottles, and signed poster board marked the location. The house next to the lot had a property management sign on the front and a CeaseFire sticker in the window that read “Don’t Shoot.”

The next location was on a street of well-kept bungalows. As drove from one location to the next, I saw several people out mowing their lawns and tending to their gardens. Like the previous site, the 11700 block of South Racine was not as well tended to as the other blocks around it. There were several homes that were boarded up on either side of the street. 21-year-old Marshall Reed and a friend were sitting in a car on this block when someone fired shots into the vehicle, killing Reed. They were parked in front of what appeared to be a bungalow style split family home. Half of the house was boarded up, but the other half looked lived in. This spot was also marked by a memorial at the base of a tree right next to the road. What I found particularly interesting about this memorial was that aside from the stuffed animals, liquor bottles, and flowers there was also an orange sticker that read FUNERAL. As I was photographing a young man who was putting fliers on doors passed by the half boarded up house, went up the neighbor’s front walk and rubber banded a piece of paper to their handle. He had to dodge the sprinkler that was turned on and watering the front lawn as he proceeded to the next house.

The site of Jeremiah Sterling’s murder was only two blocks away from where Reed was killed. Sterling, 16, was chased through his backyard into the alley behind his house where he was shot at least 7 times. He lived in the 11500 block of South May Street. The incident happened on the 15th of July, but there was still a huge memorial for him at the location. When A & H saw the extent of the memorial, they thought they should get out of the car and stand guard just in case. The memorial looked well tended to. There was plastic sheeting behind it that I imagine is placed over it in bad weather. There were about 10 bottles of liquor, stuffed animals, a Yankee baseball cap, a burned CD that said MIAH TRAX on it and a few other items. On the open garage next to it was some writing (I never told you dat I love you but I do –Evan) and a CeaseFire sticker (Don’t Shoot. I want to grow up). As I was photographing, A & H were talking about priorities. They thought it was strange that the houses on the block had busted roofs and no drainpipes, but that they all had satellite dishes. H found a ricochet mark on a garage across from where Sterling was shot. As we got back into the car, I noticed a hole in the neighbor’s garage door. H said it was a bullet hole. He said Sterling must have been shot from a certain angle to have it make a mark like that. I took a picture of it.

The next site we went to was the home of Anthony Anglin, who was shot and killed during a home invasion this past week. It was apparent that people were home at the residence. In no way did I want to disrespect the Anglin family. I left my tripod in the car and warily walked across from the house. I took one picture before I put the camera down and thought that I should come back. This was all too new. Just as I began to walk away, two men got out of a car, walked up the path to the house and sat on the front steps. This site was not ready to be photographed yet. I will go back when things have settled down.

From here we headed back east towards the lake. We stopped in the 700 block of 111th Street where Durwin Hackman and two others were shot after an argument with another group. Hackman died after being transported to the hospital. The shooting occurred on the sidewalk right in front of a Citgo station on a very busy street. I felt like I was photographing in a fish bowl. The people across the street waiting for the bus were watching me, the people gassing up at the station were watching me, people walking by turned and looked back as they passed, and people driving in their cars slowed to see what I was doing. I didn’t feel threatened at all, but I definitely felt the heaviness of all the eyes on me.

The next site was where Michael Wade crashed his car after he was shot on the 11100 block of South Normal. As we were pulling up, a few young teenagers were walking in our direction so A got out of the car to keep an eye out. As I set up my camera another teenage boy rode his bike by. He smiled and said hello. The houses on the block were larger single-family homes, but many of them were boarded up. The site of the crash was in front of a house with yellow siding and brown trim. A red car that was pretty banged up was parked in front. Just as I picked up my equipment, a car with music blaring sped down the street towards me. As it approached, it stopped in front of me. The driver, a twenty something year old man glared menacingly at me. His piercing stare made my heart beat into my throat. He looked ahead and saw A standing next to the car and sped off just as fast as he approached. I got back in the car and asked A if she saw that. She laughed and said, “Yeah. He did not like you.” I laughed too hoping it would shake me of the panic and fear I was feeling. At the end of the block a young boy had come out of a store and was untying a cute little puppy from a bike rack. A opened the window and told him how cute the dog was and tried to talk to him. The boy averted his eyes and didn’t respond. When the light changed and we pulled away I saw him scowl. It made me wonder why he had such distain for her.

The 11700 S Peoria Ave. was our next location. This was the site where Louis Wilson was shot and killed. The block reminded me more of the panhandle of Florida than of somewhere typical of Chicago. The houses on Peoria all had backyards that were filled with cars, motorcycles and other things that can be stored outside. There was a thick wooded area on the other side of the alley across from the garages and everything was green and lush, but not manicured. Right above the mouth of the alley where Wilson collapsed there were sneakers hanging from a wire. The man who lived in the house right at the end of the block, including a backyard and what must have been a carriage house, sat at the mouth of the alley came out and stood and watched me for a few minutes. He disappeared back into the house pretty quickly. Louis’ cousin commented on my blog post about his death after it happened. He said that Louis was a good guy and was not deserving of such a cowardly act. I was hoping that maybe the man that was watching was his cousin. I wish I had a chance to meet him.

We went from there to the 11500 block of South Perry Ave where 13-year-old Robert Freeman was riding his bike when someone fired shots from a gangway. A neighbor said he saw a masked gunman stand over Freeman and continue firing into the boy's body. Police told his mother that he had been shot twenty-two times. There was no one around so I was surprised when I heard a soft voice from behind me. I turned around to see a boy in his late teens/early 20s poking his head out of the first floor window of a house. He asked what the pictures were for. I told him it I was taking them for a project addressing violence in the city. He nodded his head and I turned around and continued to photograph. When I picked up my tripod to leave he was still quietly watching. I walked under his window and asked if he know Robert. He said he was his cousin. He pointed to a small grassy area below him and said that he was sitting right there when it happened. He pointed out the house where the boy lived and told me that there was still blood on the ground. I expressed my condolences and explained where he could find more information on what I was doing. He said goodbye and pulled his head back in the window.

The location we visited after that was on the corner of 115th Street and Indiana where William Allen was found on the sidewalk shot in the head. The location was right in front of a public health center. Just north of the parking lot in the rear of the public health center, the block turned residential. Across 115th Street was a large church. On the corner opposite the site was a block club sign sponsored by All State. It appeared that people were adhering to the requests of the club illustrated in the image above it.

We pulled onto the 11100 block of South Edbrooke. Phillip Baldwin was found beaten and shot in the trunk of a car in the alley just a few buildings south of 111th Street. The building on the south side of the alley was a three flat. One of the windows on the top floor was open. On the north side of the alley was a larger apartment building that was boarded up on the first floor. The front door was blocked with a fresh piece of wood. A huge address was spray painted across it. At the end of the alley I could see kids playing on a playground that is part of Palmer Park.

Our next location was on the 10700 block of South Indiana where 8-year-old Tanaja Strokes was shot and killed while jumping rope outside her home. The house was a white single family home with a big porch. A man was sitting on the porch. The front steps were covered with stuffed animals arranged in a memorial for the young girl. We kept driving.

The next site was on 10600 block of South Wentworth Ave. where the 1-year-old Roberson twins died of maternal neglect that was ruled a homicide. The house was a single-family home that sat next to another almost identical house. The two houses were sandwiched between vacant lots. The lot on the south side looked at the back of a long building that housed a string of retail stores on 107th Street. The door was open in the house. I took my camera off the tripod and proceeded to take some photographs from across the street. Wentworth was a very busy street so being stealthy about photographing was somewhat difficult.

The last site for the day was on the 10200 block of South Wentworth, just 4 blocks north of where we were. This site was where Tito Lindsey was shot and killed near his home at 7 in the morning. The block looked gorgeous. It looked like all the houses had a fresh coat of paint, all the lawns were perfectly mowed, and flowers were blooming on everyone’s porches. We pulled up to the corner. Before I got out I looked ahead of us and saw about six 20 something year old men hanging out on the porch kitty corner from the site. I pointed them out to A & H and they immediately got out of the car to keep a watch while I photographed. As I was trying to concentrate on setting up my shots I heard mayhem in the background. The men on the porch were yelling down to A & H in an aggressive tone asking what I was pointing my camera at. They told them that they didn’t need to worry about it. Someone must have hid his face because I could hear A tell him that they didn’t need to hide. As their voices got louder and more insistent about wanting to know what I was doing, A & H’s responses seemed more even and controlled. As this was all going on, another man and woman walked past. The man had a brown paper bag. He started taunting H, asking him if he was going to arrest him for it. H said no. As they passed the porch full of men they began to yell back and forth at each other. I crossed the street and got back into the car. I was ready to go. I was shaking.

All of this is so very real. People have died in the places I am visiting. The circumstances of those murders are not always known. I might be walking into an extremely hostile environment, as was proved to me at this last site. On the surface, photographs don’t seem like they are so threatening, but they reflect what’s there and I guess sometimes people don’t want others to see whatever that is. In reality, I was photographing a sidewalk, but because someone died there, that sidewalk is attached on another level to that person. While I felt threatened by those men, they also proved to me that that attachment does exist in death.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Protect Me From What I Want

X picked me up a little later on Monday morning. After a long day of photographing on Sunday, we both needed a little extra rest. Today was dedicated to researching the addresses and circumstances of all the incidents that we didn’t have the proper info on yet. Before we did that we went to photograph the one location we intended to, but didn’t make it to on Sunday, the site of Emmanuel Leeks' murder in the 2100 block of North Springfield. Leeks and a woman were shot while sitting in a car at this site. The address brought us to a no parking zone in front of a vacant building on a sleepy street in Logan Square. The train passed behind to the west just a few buildings from where we were standing. One block south of the site the street dead ends into Mozart Park. There were some young kids on the baseball field closest to us, slugging balls as their dad pitched to them. With the exception of this one vacant building, the block seemed welcoming and safe.

We spent the rest of the morning researching. When we finally got as much information as we thought we could, we decided that we had time to try to get to one more location. We headed to the 1300 block of North Pulaski where Cesar Rosales was shot outside of a car wash. The car wash is in the alley right behind a busy Dunkin’ Donuts that doubles as a gas station. X said the DD is owned by a police officer. The logistics of the homicide were sort of confusing, so X suggested we ask the people at DD if they could tell us about what happened. It appeared that Rosales was shot on the street, but staggered into the alley near the car wash where he was found. The site was near a major intersection with lots of businesses so we decided we should come back when it was a bit quieter. We drove through the alley past the car wash to get a good look and discovered two women on the other side of alley who appeared to be so strung out that they had a hard time getting out of the way to let the car through.

X turned back around to get a hot dog at Jimmy’s on the corner of Pulaski & Grand before we headed home. As we pulled in there was another woman in the lot that staggered out of the way of the car. We heard her say “Hey GI Joe” as we pulled into the parking spot. While we were inside the stand, a woman passed by wearing a Jenny Holzer t-shirt that read “Protect Me From What I Want.” Somehow it seemed so out of place and simultaneously so fitting. The same woman was next to the car when we came out. X opened the car door for me and she commented on him being such a gentleman then asked if he had any change. He responded, “No thanks.” She looked confused and followed him around the car and said, “No, no, I meant do you have any change you can spare?” He declined. Heading east on Grand we were stopped at a light talking about the Gyro stand across the street. Suddenly police cars swarmed from all directions and blocked in a white van that was parked there. The light turned green and as we proceeded east, more cop cars with their lights on flew in that direction. I never found out what happened there.

Street Fight (1)

Laverick Marshall
29 years old
At about 11:30 p.m., officers responded to a call of a large crowd fighting near 64th Street and South King Drive in the Woodlawn neighborhood. When the crowd was cleared, Marshall was found shot in the back nearby. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Vacant Lots, One Way Streets and Dope Spots all on a Sunday Morning

When X picked me up on Sunday morning, I had a Starbucks in each hand hoping it would help me wake up a little bit before arriving at the first site of the morning. First we headed to the 1000 block of West 14th Street where Marshalla Johnson was found shot in her home. Her husband has since been taken into custody for the murder. The site was fresh. The incident occurred less than a week ago. The address brought us to a public housing project. The brick buildings look new, with brightly painted blue doors, and are spaced so there are plenty of green areas. Right in front of Johnson’s building was a tree covered resting area with a bench around the base of the largest one. Next to it was a large yellow sign for posting of events. On it you could make out faded writing announcing a movie screening. The long paths that took you from the parking lot to the buildings were lined with large brightly colored concrete cylinders to keep people from driving up them. The area was strangely quiet. I only saw one man walking outside a few buildings away and the only sound I could hear was a baby crying from an open window in the building I was photographing.

Our second location was on the 2200 block of South Springfield where Waseem, Barry, and Leon Smith were all shot and killed in a car outside their home. Police say the shooting appeared to be gang related. Springfield is one way so we had to pass it and come back around. As we passed the intersection of Springfield and Cermak, we saw two teenage boys look at us and take off down the street. It appeared that they were lookouts for a dope spot on the block we were headed to. We turned onto Avers, which dead-ended into train tracks. The only way to get onto Springfield was to follow the tracks along what was no bigger than an alley. There were three people on the block. A man was sitting in a pick-up truck near the alley entrance, a woman was sitting outside at the address of the shooting, and a man sat on his porch a few houses down from there. It felt like everyone stopped moving as soon as we came. This block of Springfield, which is exceptionally narrow, has houses on the East side of the street that are opposed by a twenty-foot chain link fence that separates them from a huge vacant lot. I was extremely nervous in this location because if anything happened there was only one way out. I felt very trapped. I imagine the people that live there must feel the same way. The weight of that chain link fence probably bears on them as it casts shadows over their houses.

The next location was about two blocks away in the 4200 block of West Cermak. It was at this location that Lajuan Webb was shot and killed on July 7th. As we drove up to the location, we passed a teenage boy riding a small BMX bike in circles at the end of the side street that was just west of the site. The address was outside of a building on the busy main drag. This part of Cermak has a huge grassy median with big tall trees in the center. A man that appeared to be homeless was sitting on a plastic pail under one of the trees in the middle. As we got out of the car, the boy on the bike circled closer and closer. When I pulled out my camera, he stopped near the same tree the homeless man was sitting under, lifted his chin to get a better look at what we were doing and promptly disappeared. X said he must be another dope spot lookout. I knew I got the shot I wanted, but I was just taking a few more when another kid on a small BMX rode up to the door at the address I was photographing and rang the bell. I packed up my camera and started back towards the car. As we were getting into the car, the other boy who had disappeared earlier circled around towards us and rode right up past the side of the car, looking at us as he passed. We pulled out and he went back to circling at the end of the block we first saw him on.

Myron Farris was killed just one block north in his garage when two gunmen opened fire on him on the 4200 block of 21st Place. 21st Place is a cute little street, lined with brick three flats and beautiful grey stones each donning colorful potted plants and small gardens. We pulled into the alley behind the house. There was a man just a few garages down working under his SUV. He was talking to a woman who I could not see. As I was photographing I heard him talking about how his son was caught with a gun and how disappointed he was in him. He said he needed to straighten him out so he sent him to military school. The woman he was talking to, maybe a neighbor, agreed with him. We passed by them on the way out of the alley. The woman was sitting on a chair in the garage. She smiled warmly at me. We turned back onto Cermak to get to the next location. We saw the same boy on the BMX still circling at the end of the same block as we passed that location again. It brought to my attention how close these last few sites were from each other.

We went to 3900 West 31st Street where we thought that Michelle Maldonado was shot and killed, but after trying to find the address and reading the breaking news release again realized that it was actually on 32nd Street. This part of 32nd Street was a nice seemingly tucked away residential block, but it was actually a very busy street. Somehow traffic must get routed through there because there was a constant flow. After struggling to capture a few car free photographs, we headed out to the next site.

We went from there to an alley in the 2600 block of South Ridgeway where an unidentified man was shot and killed on Monday of Memorial Day weekend. We had to circle around to make sure we were in the right location. As we did, we passed a street festival being set-up. At the end of the block was a stage and seating under a blue tarp. A man crossed the street in front of us carrying three huge boxes of hot dogs. The fest would be up and running soon. People in the neighborhood seemed to be starting to walk that way. The alley was very close to all this action, but seemed secluded. Across from the freestanding garages on the southeast side was what looked like the back of a school. The whole wall was covered with a mosaic of yellow, blue, and red tiles. There was an alcove that allowed me to back up and photograph more of the area surrounding the location of the shooting. I noticed a plastic slide and some kids toys strewn about in the yard on the other side of the garage where they found this man shot.

The next location we visited was in the Near West Side in the 2900 block of South Wood Street where Ray Ressler was killed. The address was right outside of a large apartment building that looked like it was condemned. The front entrance was blocked off and the side of the building was covered with ivy. Some of the windows on the front were also boarded up. The back of the building was free of ivy and showed that it was a brick building painted white. Satellites for direct TV still hung off the backside of some of the apartments. There was a lot of foot traffic in the area. Many of the people looked like they were dressed up for Sunday mass. One couple walked by with a packet of information. They turned onto 21st Place where they met an agent and went into a building just a few steps from the site. Directly across the street from the front of the building and the corner where the incident occurred was a police camera.

After we left the site of Ressler’s murder, we got onto Lake Shore Drive heading north towards where Karen Salino was killed. We exited Lake Shore on Hollywood, so I thought we should go by the site where Olutosin Bajomo was killed to see if it was less active than it was a few days before. The area was bustling. People were out jogging, walking, nurses were out in their scrubs presumably on their lunch break and Ardmore had tons of car traffic as well. This area of Edgewater is extremely diverse. All kinds of people passed as I photographed. The memorial for Bajomo was still there. There was writing on the ground on the sidewalk where he died. RIP. A mother with her two kids walked by. One of the young girls was attracted to the balloons tied to the tree. Her mother pulled her away. Everyone that passed gave the memorial a glance, but no one stopped to really take it in. It was as though it was a normal sight.

We kept heading north from there to the address of the apartment where Karen Salino was allegedly shot and killed by her boyfriend. The six flat brick building sat between two brightly painted well-kept Victorian houses. On the building, centered between the third floor windows, was a crest. The street was lined with parked cars, but there was a free spot right in front of the address. A man and woman in an SUV pulled into my shot and began to park there. When they saw me they waved and pulled out to find another parking spot. I thought that was nice of them seeing that parking was coveted in the area.

It was a long day and it was finally time to eat. On the way back south, X and I stopped and picked up some food at the new Maxwell Street in Rogers Park.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Update: Tuesday/Wednesday (2)

Debra Haywood-Hughes
44 years old

A woman was found stabbed to death this morning at 3:41 a.m. inside her residence in the 7000 block of South King Drive on the South Side in the city's Park Manor neighborhood. Preliminary reports said she had a "puncture wound" to the body. Police said the stabbing was domestically related, but no details were available about the circumstances leading up to the slaying.

Tuesday, August 24th

Tyrone Clark
27 years old
Clark was shot and killed early this morning near his residence in the South Side's Back of the Yards neighborhood. The shooting happened about 4:40 a.m. in the 1400 block of West 54th Street. He was pronounced dead at 5:20 a.m. at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Police said Clark had been shot in the back.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Driving Incident (1)

Linton Goldsmith
33 years old
Goldsmith was driving a van at about 1:00 a.m. when he was shot in the face and killed. Preliminary reports said he was driving when another vehicle pulled up and someone inside fired shots into the van. The van struck a tree and flipped over but the five other people inside were not injured. Goldsmith was found unresponsive in the 8000 block of South Jeffery Avenue in the South Shore neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday into the Early Hours of Monday (2)

Kirk McCullough
45 years old
McCullough, was found shot to death this morning in the 4400 block of West Madison Street in West Garfield Park near The Taste Bud Banquet Hall and Restaurant where he was a bouncer. He was found sitting in his car with a gunshot wound to the back of his head about 1:15 a.m. He was pronounced dead at 1:28 a.m. at Stroger Hospital. Police said he had gang affiliations.

Ronnie Peterson
23 years old
Peterson, who was found shot in the head in his car Sunday afternoon in the 5000 block of West Monroe Street in the Austin neighborhood, has died. Preliminary reports said a vehicle pulled up next to Peterson's car and someone inside fired several shots at him. He was pronounced dead at Mt. Sinai Hospital at 5:55 p.m.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

At Least 10 Wounded & 1 Dead in Shootings Overnight (Saturday/Sunday)

Donzel Swanigan
30 years old
At about 1:55 a.m., police responded to a battery in progress and found Swanigan dead in a vacant lot near a large house party in the 300 block of South Kostner Avenue in the West Garfield Park neighborhood on the West Side. He was fatally shot in the neck.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Uptown & Chinatown

I went out to photograph this morning with E, promising her a giant Starbucks latte if she would come and keep me company. We headed north to Uptown where 21-year-old Aaron Carter and 29-year-old Detrick Garrett were killed less than a mile apart. Our first location was the site where Carter was shot to death on the 4500 block of North Magnolia Ave. This area of Magnolia is a quiet street that runs north/south between Montrose and Wilson. Most of the buildings on the street are multi-unit apartment complexes with a few public housing buildings interspersed. Carter and a friend got into an argument with men in a vehicle who then shot at them. He was on the sidewalk at the time. The building he stood in front of when he was shot was a beautiful old graystone right across the street from a public housing unit. The house next door had three different realtors listed on the fence and many of the buildings on the street had large banners with bright colors almost begging people to rent. A lot of commuters dressed for a day in the office toting briefcases passed on their way to the el. The area felt like a contradiction with its illusion of safety.

An aside on Uptown:
Due to Alderman Helen Shiller’s support of “balanced development,” Uptown possesses a high level of economic diversity among its residents. While 20% of Uptown households earned less than $10,000 in 1999, almost 25% earned over $50,000. More than one-fourth of the families were living below the poverty line. Uptown’s income diversity in reflected in its housing, as Uptown has both affordable and subsidized housing for low-income families, as well as luxurious rental and homeownership units. Racial, ethnic, and economic diversity has been sustained in Uptown by efforts to promote commercial development and new housing, while at the same time fighting to preserve affordable housing, low-skill jobs, and small businesses.

We made a right onto Wilson, following it for a few blocks to the 4500 block of North Clarendon where Detrick Garrett was killed on July 7th. The address led us to a beautiful park just on the other side of Lake Shore Drive and a hair west of the lakefront. The west side of the street was lined with high-rise apartment complexes that must have a spectacular view of the lake. On the east side, the park was split into parts. There was a baseball field on the far side, a small tree-covered picnic area abutting the sidewalk, and a community garden. Two men, one white and one African-American, sat on the bench in the garden talking and relaxing. Garrett was shot just south of the garden on the sidewalk. The road was a main thoroughfare for buses so roaring engines constantly interrupted the peacefulness of the park and gardens. Even so, it was hard to imagine such violence occurring in such a beautiful and well-kept place.

After we left the site on Clarendon, we got on Lake Shore Drive and headed even further north to the 1000 block of West Ardmore where Olutosin Bajomo was shot and killed just two days before. Ardmore is a one-way street so we had to circle around. As we came up on the site, over the traffic I could see heart balloons tied to a tree and people flanking both sides of the street. As we passed, slowly due to traffic, I watched as four women in maroon colored hospital scrubs talked by the memorial and shook their heads. At the base of the tree were three lit candles and bunches of potted flowers. On the opposite side of the street a woman sat alone on the guardrail looking despondent. E asked if I was going to stop. I said no, the point was not to photograph the sadness and grieving surrounding the event, but to photograph what happens after all that and to memorialize each event so the land stays connected to the person who died on it. We kept driving and got back on Lake Shore Drive heading south.

Our last stop was in the 200 block of West 23rd Street, right off the main drag in Chinatown where two men approached Xiaohong Song after he got off the bus and then strangled him to death. The site of Song’s death was surprising to me. The street was tight, one way, full of cars, and the houses were butting up against each other. Lots of people were out walking. Some rice was left on the sidewalk for the birds just a few steps away from where he was killed. The address led me to a cute little brick house with clothes out on a laundry line near the front door. It felt like a tight knit community, the kind of place you might even leave your doors unlocked. People were definitely looking at me as they passed. It felt less threatening and more protective. What was I doing on their block? They didn’t know me. As we pulled out of our spot, another car pulled right in, a testament to the bustling of the street.

It was time to get E that Starbucks latte I promised her.

Early Saturday Morning (2)

Julio Castrumita
22 years old
At about 2:10 a.m., police responded to the 2800 block of West Pershing Road in the Brighton Park neighborhood and found two people shot. Castrumita was shot in the head. He was pronounced dead at 4:19 a.m. at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Bennie Madison
39 years old
At about 1:35 a.m., police responded to a man shot near West 43rd Street and South Federal Street on Chicago's South Side where they found Madison shot. He was taken in critical condition to Stroger Hospital, but was pronounced dead at 2:21 a.m.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Week 12

click for a much better view

This week was a particularly bad one with 19 homicides. That is about 8 more than the average week this summer. People always say that when the temperature rises so do the homicides. I guess it was a particularly hot week in Chicago with the temperature only dipping below 80 one time. This week began with 1-year-old twins dying from maternal neglect and ended with a 71-year-old man shot while his home was being robbed. These victims are the oldest and the youngest that we have seen all summer. Two women were also shot to death this week by their respective partners. The average age of those that were killed this week was 29, just a little older than the average for the summer that is now at roughly 27 years old.

It is getting increasingly harder to keep up photographing with the pace of homicides in the city. At 10 murders a week it is already a feat to get to each site, but they seem to be increasing exponentially as the summer goes on. I am trying my hardest to not get too far behind. It is becoming more and more daunting, but I am not going to stop until each place has been photographed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rough Ending to Mid-August Week (5)

Friday August 20th

Anthony Anglin
71 years old
Masked men forced their way into the home in the 10800 block of South Sangamon in the Morgan Park neighborhood at around 1 a.m., ransacked the house and shot Anglin in the chest. Anglin's son told police he, a woman and his father were at home when two armed masked men came into the house. The son and the woman ran out but his father was shot. Soon afterwards, Morgan Park District police stopped a car without its lights on. They questioned three men inside and, after noticing their "nervousness," patted them down. On two of the men, they found black masks and more than $2,000 in cash. All three men were taken into custody.

Domingo Hernandez
Hernandez was shot Monday night in the 4900 block of West Walton Street in the West Side's Austin neighborhood along with a 17-year-old boy as the two were loading furniture into a truck in an alley. About 9 p.m., officers responded to Walton Street and the found Hernandez shot in the head and the boy shot in the knee after an unknown person fired shots at them. Hernandez was pronounced dead early Friday morning.

Thursday August 19th

Roger Kizer
31 years old
Another drive-by happened at about 11:30 p.m. killing Kizer and wounding another man in the 7400 block of South Kenwood Avenue in the Grand Crossing neighborhood. He was slain a house down from where he lived and was dead at the scene.

Schirron Hoskins
18 years old
The first shooting happened about 10 p.m. in the 6200 block of South Paulina Street in the West Englewood neighborhood when shots were fired from a vehicle traveling eastbound killing Hoskins and wounding two others. Hoskins was shot in the head and pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital at 10:52 p.m.

Jaime Ramirez
27 years old
According to Chicago police officials, a dark-colored sport utility vehicle drove past Ramirez at about 3:45 a.m. when someone from inside the vehicle shouted gang slogans and a gunman from inside began shooting, hitting Ramirez multiple times. He was found several doors away from his home in the 9100 block of South Burley Avenue in the South Chicago neighborhood. He was pronounced dead at 4:45 a.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center.

Cook County Medical Examiner's Office

As a result of a 1972 referendum, the Office of the Medical Examiner of Cook County was established December 6, 1976, and the Office of the Coroner was abolished. The Office is the only Medical Examiner system in Illinois and covers half the population of the state. The Office of the Medical Examiner plays a vital role in the administration of justice and protection of public health.

More than 18,000 deaths are reported to the Medical Examiner annually. Of this 6,000 are accepted for investigation. The office performs about 5,200 autopsies each year.

The Medical Examiners Office investigates any human death that falls within any or all of the following catergories:
criminal violence, suicide, accident, suddenly when in apparent good condition, unattended by a practicing licensed physician, suspicious or unusual circumstances, criminal abortion, poisoning or attributable to an adverse reaction to drugs and/or alcohol, disease constituting a threat to public health, disease, injury or toxic agent resulting from employment, during medical diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, in any prison or penal institution, when involuntarily confined in jail, prison hospitals or other institutions or in police custody, when any human body is to be cremated, dissected or buried at sea, unclaimed bodies, when a dead body is brought into a new medico-legal jurisdiction without proper medical certification

The Medical Examiners Office provides:
Certificate of Death (to funeral directors for filing with local registrar)
Autopsy Protocol (description of what is found at autopsy)
Toxicology Report (lists any foreign substance found in body)
Special Study Reports (if applicable)
Cremation Permits (to funeral directors)

3 Shot & Killed in Less Than 16 Hours

Thursday August 19th

Olutosin Bajomo
29 years old
Bajomo was shot in the head and killed in an alley near his home in the Edgewater neighborhood on the North Side. Police and paramedics responded about 2:22 a.m. to the 1000 block of West Ardmore Avenue and found the victim at the mouth of the alley on the north side of Ardmore Avenue. Surveillance video from the area shows a vehicle parked in the alley. One of the men got out and approached Bajomo as he was walking east along Ardmore toward Sheridan Road. The man then shot Bajomo several times. He was pronounced dead at 2:57 a.m. at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston.

Wednesday August 18th

Terrance Cooper
28 years old
Cooper had come out of a store with a friend on the 3300 block of West 63rd Street in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, when an assailant approached and shot him multiple times. Officers found him on the street about 10:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn at 11:55 p.m.

Marshalla Johnson
28 years old
Johnson was fatally shot at her Near West Side residence in the 1000 block of West 14th Street on Wednesday. Police have taken her husband into custody in connection with the slaying. She was found shot in the head at the residence about 11:15 a.m.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Block Club Carries On, but Fear and Frustration With City Persist"

In the Chicago section of the Sunday New York Times this weekend there was a great article addressing the issues of violence that presently plague the city of Chicago. The article hones in on one neighborhood in particular, 8100-8200 South Winchester, using it as an example of the problems many Chicagoans face and how they specifically are working to keep their street free of gangs, drugs, and violence.

Read the article here.

Update: Monday night into Tuesday Morning (3)

Anthony Clemons
44 years old
Clemons was shot and killed this morning in the West Side's Lawndale neighborhood. The shooting happened about 8:25 a.m. in the 4100 block of West Grenshaw Street. He was pronounced dead at 8:47 a.m. at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Angel Rebolledo
29 years old
Rebolledo died and two others were wounded this morning in a shooting in the city's Hermosa neighborhood on the Northwest Side. Shortly after midnight, officers responded to the 2300 block of North Keeler Avenue and found three people with gunshot wounds. Preliminary reports said the victims were standing outside. Rebolledo was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1:02 a.m.

Brian Daniel
33 years old
Preliminary reports said Daniel was shot while he was standing on the corner of Leamington Avenue and Monroe Street. The shooting happened at about 4:45 p.m. in the 5100 block of West Monroe Street in the West Side's Austin neighborhood. The victims were playing cards when three male assailants approached and opened fire. Two other suspects fired shots at a group across the street from where Daniel was standing, striking the youth while he tired to run from the scene. Daniel was pronounced dead at 8:30 p.m. Monday at Stroger Hospital. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds. The other victim, a 15-year-old boy, suffered a gunshot wound to his arm and was treated and released at Loretto Hospital. The shooting was possibly gang-related.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday (1)

Alexander Mercado
16 years old
Mercado, a man, and a woman were sitting in a parked car in the 4100 block of North Albany Avenue in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood at about 1:45 a.m. when someone walked up and started a conversation with them. Soon after the suspect opened fire into the car. The woman switched places with one of the gunshot victims and drove to the 4000 block of North Whipple Street, where she called police. Mercado was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 2:33 a.m. The other man was listed as stable at the hospital. The woman said the gunman fled the scene in a dark-colored vehicle.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Update: More Weekend Violence (4)

Sunday August 15th

Johnny Taylor
34 years old
Preliminary reports said officers were patrolling the area about 9:10 p.m. when they heard gunfire. Soon after, police found Taylor shot on the sidewalk in the 9000 block of South Commercial Avenue in the city's South Chicago neighborhood. He was pronounced dead at 10:08 p.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. A witness at the scene told police an unknown suspect, between the ages of 16 and 20, exited a dark-colored vehicle and shot Taylor. The gunman then jumped back into the vehicle and fled.

Damien Turner
18 years old
At about 12:08 a.m., officers responded to a man shot in the 6100 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue in the South Side's West Woodlawn neighborhood. He was shot in the back at the above address and pronounced dead at 1:23 a.m. at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Shell casing were found on the sidewalk.

Karen Salino
52 years old
Salino went to her boyfriend, William Caponegri's apartment on the 6700 block of North Glenwood Avenue late Saturday, where the two got into an argument and Caponegri is alleged to have strangled her with his hands. Police responded about 12:30 a.m. Sunday to Caponegri's apartment after his roommate, who had returned home from watching a game, called police after finding Salino unresponsive. Police said she was found on a bed with contusions and scratches around her neck and a puncture wound to the arm. An autopsy has determined that the cause of death was strangulation and it was ruled a homicide. She was dead on the scene.

Saturday August 14th

Anthony Martinez
22 years old
At about 3 a.m., Martinez got into a dispute with the driver of a black Honda car at a gas station in the 5900 block of South California Avenue in tha Southwest Side's Gage Park neighborhood. The two traded gang slogans and accusations before the driver ran over the other man. He was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital just after 5:33 a.m.

64-Year-Old Man Caught in Crossfire (1)

Mobolaji Osho
64 years old
An attacker was shooting at a group of teens in the 2000 block of East 71st in the South Shore neighborhood when Osho walked out of a store (possibly a sandwich shop) and was shot in the torso just after 2 p.m. He was declared dead from gunshot wounds at Northwestern Memorial Hospital at 2:44 p.m.

Medical Examiner Rules Deaths of Twins Homicide (2)

Kimora Roberson
1 year old
Kamari Roberson
1 year old
The Cook County medical examiner's office has determined that the deaths of the twin Robertson girls are homicides. They died of "hyperthermia, environmental exposure and failure to thrive due to maternal neglect." Officials said they each weighed just 13 pounds. They were found unresponsive Thursday evening in their home in the 10600 block of South Wentworth Avenue. The police were called about 5:50 p.m. and they summoned paramedics. The children were taken to Roseland Community Hospital, where they were pronounced dead at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Week 11

Click for much better view

There were 13 more homicides in the city of Chicago this week. That is a bit above the average of 10 a week for the summer months so far. I was off in my estimation last week. There are still 3 weeks and a few days left until Labor Day, which means that the total amount of homicides this summer may be equal to or greater than summer of 2009 if this rate continues. I have an overwhelming amount of sites to visit and photograph. I am currently looking for more help from people who can escort me to the more dangerous sites.

Update: In the Wee Hours of the Morning (1)

D'Angelo Jackson
27 years old
At about 4:38 a.m. an unidentified man was shot multiple times and killed in the South Side's Grand Crossing neighborhood in the 900 block of East 79th Street. He was declared dead at 5:20 a.m. at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Update: While I was at Work (3)

Phillip Baldwin
27 years old
At 8:51 p.m. a man was found fatally beaten in the trunk of a vehicle in the 11100 block of South Edbrooke Avenue in the Far South Side's Roseland neighborhood with "blunt trauma to the body and head." The body was found in the trunk of a car. An autopsy Friday revealed Baldwin died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Krystal Rodney
29 years old
About 3:10 p.m., Rodney and a man were fighting at the victim's grandmother's house in the 7000 block of South Justine Street in the Englewood neighborhood. The incident is thought to have been a domestic-related argument. The man went to a vehicle, got a handgun and shot her in the neck. He then fled in the vehicle. Police were able to stop the gunman through a vehicle description. Rodney was pronounced dead at 3:31 p.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Isaac Davis III
38 years old
A shooting in the West Side's East Garfield Park neighborhood this afternoon left a man dead. Police responded to shots fired at about 1:05 p.m. on the 700 block of North Monticello Avenue. They found the victim shot in the head on the street. He was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.