A man was apparently caught by a rival gang member who shot him in the head as he tagged a wall on 22nd Place, just west of California Avenue early Saturday morning, according to police.
The man, one of at least six people shot overnight, was in extremely critical condition when taken to Mount Sinai Hospital a few blocks north on California Avenue. An evidence technician recovered a can of black paint that fell under a car and the smell of the paint lingered on the wall Saturday morning.
The stretch of 22nd Place between California Avenue and Marshall Boulevard is the territory of one gang, neighbors said. West of Marshall is another gang, and east of California is the turf of a third gang. The graffiti on the wall indicated its writer was disrespecting two of the gangs on both sides.
Two neighbors stood outside the crime scene, both awakened by the sound of four or five gunshots about 3:30 a.m. Neither wanted to be identified.
“It’s bad around here,” said one who has lived in the area for more than a decade. “They’re fighting for a block that don’t even belong to them.”
“Why would you fight for a piece of the street?” the other said incredulously.
The gang members from east of California occasionally gather and walk in the area as a show of force, one said, wearing their gang colors during parades along Cermak Road to the north.
A woman walking her dog tried to turn down an alley when a Chicago police officer who just snipped red crime scene tape startled her with a command:
“Watch that blood, watch that blood, ma’am,” he said. “Your dog might lick it or something.”
Flustered, she continued west toward California, almost tripping over the tape on the ground.
The other victims from overnight shootings included a 16-year-old boy who was shot in the 1900 block of South Sangamon, about 5 a.m. He was treated for a wound under his armpit at John H. Stroger Jr., Hospital of Cook County.
Police responded to 18th and Racine and found the boy there, and stopped a gold car with five others inside. Police questioned them as the boy walked to a nearby ambulance.
About two hours later on the 1400 block of South Ashland Avenue an 18-year-old man was shot in the back and arm in a drive-by shooting that may be rleated to the shooting on Sangamon. The man was taken to Stroger Hospital where he was being treated. His condition was not available.
A 19-year-old was shot in the 7200 block of South Artesian Avenue in the Marquette Park neighborhood; he belongs to the same gang as two men shot on the same block Monday night, according to police.
The 19-year-old was on a porch when someone shot at him about 1:20 a.m. He sustained wounds to his head and legs and was taken to Holy Cross Hospital in good condition, police said. Nobody is in custody, and other than the shared gang affiliation with the two men shot earlier in the week, it's not clear that the two incidents are related, according to authorities.
Shortly before 2 a.m., a 20-year-old man was shot in the arm while he was inside a car in the Heart of Chicago neighborhood. He was a passenger in a vehicle stopped at the intersection of Oakley Avenue and 21st Street when someone on the corner opened fire, police said. The driver of the car brought the 20-year-old to St. Mary's Hospital where his condition had stabilized, police said.
A 27-year-old man was shot in the 5600 block of South Sacramento Avenue in the Gage Park neighborhood about 2:25 a.m. He was standing with a group when someone approached, the two exchanged words, and the other person started shooting, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said. The 27-year-old was shot in the arm and his condition had also been stabilized, Alfaro said.
Nobody is in custody, and detectives from Area Central are investigating all of the shootings.