By SAM CHARLES, MITCHELL ARMENTROUT, JACOB WITTICH, TOM SCHUBA and FRAN SPIELMAN
Four people were killed in when gunfire erupted inside a restaurant in the South Shore neighborhood on Thursday afternoon.
About 3:30 p.m., a shooter walked into Nadia Fish and Chicken at the corner of 75th and Coles, and opened fire, according to family members of the victims.
All four were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
On Thursday night, CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted the shooting is “believed to be gang-related retaliation from another incident,” though he did not offer further specifics of the other incident.
The Jackson brothers had gone to the restaurant to visit their mother, who has worked there for eight years, according to their grandmother, Georgia Jackson.
“They were shooting at somebody, they say, inside the restaurant,” she said. “My boys just got in the way, I guess.”
The shootings came at the end of a month, which at the start of the day had seen a 43 percent drop in homicides year-over-year, according to Chicago Police. March 2016 saw 46 homicides, while March 2017 had recorded 26 before Thursday, when a total of 7 were reported.
Dozens of onlookers gathered at the corner of 75th and Coles as police guarded the crime scene, which spanned several blocks. The bodies of the Jackson brothers could be seen lying under white sheets, much to the frustration of family members.
A young woman screamed at officers to move the bodies of Raheam and Dillon—who she said were her brothers—out of the lightly misting rain.
“Real talk, this is gonna make me go f–––––– crazy,” she said. “Why they still on the ground?”
Hours after the shooting, when most bystanders had left the crime scene area, Georgia Jackson vowed to stay until her grandsons’ bodies were removed.
Agents from the ATF were at the crime scene, and a spokesman confirmed the federal agency is assisting Chicago Police in the investigation.
Georgia Jackson said Dillon Jackson was shot in his back three years ago, just a block away.
“Dillon was a homebody,” she said. “I don’t understand why he out here. What’s he doing here?”
Family members said Dillon and Raheam were the youngest of five children. They had two older brothers and an older sister.
Raheam left behind a son, who will turn 2 years old on April 2, and another 5-month old son, according to his sister-in-law, Shauna Jackson.
Dillon and Raheam Jackson were not the first grandsons Georgia Jackson has lost to gun violence in Chicago.
In December 2011, her 16-year-old grandson Jawan Ross, a Robeson High School student, was one of two teenage boys killed when someone fired into a crowd at a Church’s Chicken in the 6600 block of South Halsted. The Chicago Sun-Times reported then that Ross and 17-year-old Dantril Brown were unintended targets.
Last September, Arthur Chaney was found guilty of murder and attempted murder for the 2011 shooting.
“I can’t keep doing this,” Georgia Jackson said. “I’m losing too many kids.”
Thursday was the first quadruple homicide of the year in Chicago. It came just a day after charges were filed in the city’s last quadruple homicide, which occurred in Fernwood last December.
Chicago has seen more than 130 homicides through the first three months of the year, according to records maintained by the Sun-Times.
Police Supt. Eddie Johnson spoke at a news conference shortly after the restaurant shootings, saying he was “angry and sickened.”
He called the slayings “targeted” gang shootings, adding, “We know that these weren’t random acts of violence,” though he said that did not make them any more tolerable.
He promised to increase the police presence in the area and send in saturation teams—mobile patrols that can quickly respond to incidents of violeance in areas where retaliation shootings could be possible.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel also condemned what the killings.
An outraged Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday condemned the “level of evil and depravity” that led to the killings.
“There is a level of evil and depravity of an individual who would walk into a restaurant and, in front of a mother, shoot her sons.
“Now, there are other people [who] I believe … opportunity and jobs will make a difference in their life. For the people who did what they did yesterday, they thought that was their job.”
The mayor said there is “only one place” for those responsible.
“They do not belong in our society. They do not belong in our city. And they do not belong on the streets in the communities and neighborhoods of the city of Chicago,” he said. “They belong behind bars.”