X (via text message): I'm awake. Should be there right around 7:30.
Me: Cool. We're up.
X (at 7:30): Okay I lied. I'll be leaving here shortly.
Me: All good. See you soon.
X arrived to pick L and me up at about 8 o'clock. Armed with the short list of remaining sites to photograph, we headed south. We hopped on the Dan Ryan and got off at 75th Street heading west to the site where Credale "Sandy" Woulard was killed on June 21st of 2010. 28-year-old Woulard was a transgendered woman who went by the name Sandy. She was found shot near a church on 75th and Halsted. When X and I originally shot this site, we shot 801 East 75th Street, the address that was in the news as well as other sources that we came upon, but after looking over the images and the story again, I realized that we couldn't have been in the right place. Sandy Woulard was killed in front of a church. Our location was on a busy corner in front of a currency exchange with no church in sight. After some investigation of Google earth, I figured out that Woulard was killed at 801 West 75th Street, where there was a church that matched the description in the news release, not at 801 East 75th. The address brought us to the 1st Corinthian M.B. Church. The church was a circular brown brick and glass block building. Above the front entrance on Halsted was a mosaic, with a scroll that read, "It's All in his hands," flanked by two hands in prayer, and a torch. The church sat on the corner of busy Halsted and quiet residential 75th Street. Just to the north up a grassy hill were train tracks with freight cars awaiting use. Cars careened south under the viaduct that had a colorful mural welcoming us to the Auburn/Gresham neighborhood. As I photographed, L took video and X told her stories about the area. After photographing from several different angles, I spotted a white metal cross nailed to one of the trees along the sidewalk next to the church. It was made of two pieces of scrap metal and looked like it was weathered from age. I imagine that it was a memorial in rememberence of Woulard.
Our second location was 6252 South Ashland where 30-year-old Andre Tucker was shot and killed at 3:55 am. It's hard to tell from the data that I've collected, but another man by the name of Devonte Patterson might have lost his life in this incident as well. The address brought us to a sidewalk in front of Pak Submarine Shop on Ashland just a half a block north of the 63rd/Ashland Green Line stop. Even at the early hour that we arrived, Ashland was bustling with traffic, both car and foot. The location was on a major truck route and while I was photographing I found myself bound between the gated front of the store and the repeating metal patterns on the sides of the trucks in the right lane. Two store fronts to the north was a cell phone store that had an odd number of customers for the early hour, which also made it difficult to make a good picture within the compressed space. Eventually X pulled his car into the right lane to block traffic so that I could stand in the street to photograph without worrying about oncoming traffic. I finally got the image I was looking for.
This is my frustrated look
The next site on our list was one that I visited before with A and H in 2010. I was unhappy with the image and wanted to re-shoot. The incident happened at 1601 West 59th Street, a very busy intersection with a shopping center on the northwest side, M&M Liquor Store on the southwest corner and a gas station on the southeast corner. There were also two busy bus stops, so it was going to be a challenge getting a quiet people-less image of the site. It was here that 26-year-old Deandre Murphy's car came to a stop after he was shot while driving a few blocks to the west. As we approached the intersection, there was an immediate issue. A 30-something year-old man in a purple t-shirt spotted us and began waving us down. At first, X thought he was just trying to sell us drugs, but upon further observation, he realized that the guy was hyped up on drugs or was just plain crazy. X overshot the location in hopes that the guy would lose sight of us and lose interest, but the more we circled the intersection, the more he chased after us and tried to flag us down. X and I have been in some dangerous and scary situations, but X is always comfortable because ultimately, as bad as some of the dudes are that we come across, they have common sense. They are not going to mess with the police for no gain and they mostly want to do their thing without any trouble or extra attention. In this case, X was visibly uncomfortable. He knows he can protect himself and us from normal goings on, but not from someone that is acting irrationally, so he was extremely hesitant about stopping. We finally found a spot where I could get a few images that were out of eye shot of the man in the purple shirt. X also brought me around a few different angles to photograph, but made sure that I remained in the car. This was an idea we had in the past to get the images I needed of extremely dangerous areas, but we managed to always get out and spend time without issue. This time I did my own kind of drive-by shooting. X would pull up and stop and I would photograph from inside the car. While I am still not extremely excited by the results, I am not sure if I will ever have the opportunity to take a good picture at that intersection.
This was about the moment we caught his eye.
Click for a much larger view.
After this shoot, I only have one more location to photograph before the photographing portion of this project is complete.