WEEK IN REVIEW: At least 11 killed in Chicago homicides last week, but number could rise

Chicago Sun-Times Wire

At least 11 people were homicide victims in Chicago last week, including a 66-year-old man fatally struck by a vehicle as the driver was speeding away from a traffic stop.

And that number could go up as authorities investigate a suspicious fire that claimed two lives in Garfield Ridge, and the death of an elderly woman in the same incident that killed the pedestrian.

In the latest fatal incident in a weekend in which 3 people were killed and another 31 injured by gunfire, a 16-year-old boy was killed and a 17-year-old boy injured in a shooting in Chatham early Sunday, Chicago Police said.

The teenagers were standing on the sidewalk in the 8200 block of South Ingleside about 1 a.m. when someone approached on foot and fired shots at them, police said.

DeJaun Pitchford, 16, suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 2:05 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He lived on the same block where he was shot.

The 17-year-old was shot in the leg and was also taken to Christ Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized, police said.

Police are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related.

Two hours earlier a 44-year-old Michigan man was shot to death in West Englewood.

Adrian Jeffries was standing on a sidewalk about 11:05 p.m. in the 6000 block of South Throop when someone got out of a black SUV and opened fire, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.

He was struck in the head and back, and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died three hours later, authorities said. Jeffries was from Holland, Mich., about 30 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.

Calvin McConnell was killed and another man wounded in a shooting early Saturday in East Garfield Park.

The men were in a vehicle parked in the 2900 block of West Lexington about 4:10 a.m. when a black vehicle pulled up and someone inside fired at them, police said. The 34-year-old McConnell was shot in the chest and shoulder, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other man, 28, was shot in the neck, chest and shoulder, and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.

Police are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related.
Wesley Kelly died Friday, one day after the 25-year-old was shot while riding in a vehicle in Greater Grand Crossing.

Kelly was the backseat passenger in a vehicle heading west on 67th Street near Michigan Avenue at 9:10 p.m. Thursday when someone walked up and fired shots at the vehicle.

Kelly, of the 6200 block of South Evans, was shot in the head, and was driven to St. Bernard Hospital, authorities said. He was later transferred to Stroger Hospital, where he died at 6:06 p.m. Friday.

Police are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related.

John Short died after he was shot Wednesday evening in Back of the Yards. The 23-year-old was in an alley in the 1100 block of West 51st Street about 7:30 p.m. when someone approached him, pulled a handgun and started firing, police said.

Short, who lived a block away in the 1000 block of West 51st, was shot in the back and taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to police.

One person was killed and three others injured in a shooting Wednesday morning at a park in East Garfield Park. The shooting happened at Horan Park in the 3000 block of West Van Buren at 10:36 a.m., according to police.

Kortney Blakes, 23, was shot in the head and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:07 p.m., according to police and the medical examiner’s office.

Another 23-year-old man was shot in the upper left shoulder; and a 22-year-old man was shot in the right leg. Both were taken to Mount Sinai in good condition. A fourth man, in his 20s, was shot in the abdomen and was in serious condition at Mount Sinai.

Marshun Black was fatally shot on the block where he lived in Roseland on Tuesday night. About 10:20 p.m., the 28-year-old was outside on the 10000 block of South Wentworth when a car drove by and shots were fired at him, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.

Black, who lived on the same block, was shot in the head and abdomen, and was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:57 p.m. Police are investigating whether the shooting was gang-related.

Reginald Sanson was shot to death Tuesday evening, only about two blocks from President Barack Obama’s home in Kenwood.

Sanson, 25, was in a vehicle about 6 p.m. when another vehicle approached and someone inside fired shots, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. He drove to the 1300 block of East 50th Street, where the vehicle came to a stop.

Sanson, of the 4000 block of South Woodlawn, suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are investigated whether the shooting was gang-related.

William Carter, injured in a shooting along with two other people Monday afternoon in Austin, died Tuesday night.

The three men were in the 1100 block of North Cicero about 6 p.m. when two people walked up and opened fire, police said. The 24-year-old Carter was shot in the upper body and was taken to Stroger Hospital.

Carter, of the 1100 block of North LeClaire, died there at 6:53 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said. An autopsy found he died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide.

Another man, 26, was shot in the head; and a third man, 42, was shot in the upper right arm. Neither injury was thought to be life-threatening.

The week’s first fatal shooting happened Monday evening, when Hughvon Polk was killed and another man wounded in a Humboldt Park shooting.

About 8:20 p.m., the two men were in a van traveling in the 1100 block of North Keeler when several males shot at them from across the street, police said.

The 24-year-old driver, identified as Polk, was shot in the left side of his chest and left arm, and died at a hospital. The younger man, 21, was shot in the hand and suffered a graze wound to his arm. He was listed in good condition.

Also Monday, police say Paul Forbes was trying to flee a traffic stop when he ran down 66-year-old Willie Owens, and caused a traffic crash that left an elderly woman dead and three other women injured.

Forbes, 26, is charged with murder, aggravated fleeing, and two counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, for the crash at 75th and King Drive. He is being held without bond.

Forbes was pulled over for a traffic violation about 7:35 p.m. in the 7500 block of South St. Lawrence, and tried to drive off, but hit a car at 75th and King, police said. He then hit Owens, who was standing next to his stalled vehicle on the street, the impact pushing Owens’ vehicle into another car.

Owens died at a hospital, and four women in two of the vehicles were injured, according to prosecutors. One of those injured, 88-year-old Margaret Silas, died of her injuries on Sunday. It was unclear whether the charges against Forbes would be upgraded to reflect the second fatality.

And at least one of the two men found dead in a swift-moving fire Saturday morning in Garfield Ridge lived in the Southwest Side home where the arson blaze was set, authorities said.

The medical examiner’s office on Sunday identified the 28-year-old man found near a front window on the second floor of the home in the 5200 block of South Lorel as Joseph Vela. The house was listed as his home address.

The other victim—a 63-year-old man found on the first floor near a back door—was still unknown as of Monday, a medical examiner’s office spokesman said.

Autopsies for both men were inconclusive pending further investigation.

A source told the Chicago Sun-Times that investigators think an accelerant was used in the blaze, which started about 9:30 a.m. Police and fire investigators, BATF, and the State Fire Marshal’s office are investigating.

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