Liberty said the car had been lurching down the block because the people in the car were trying to identify an address. The presence of a police car behind them must have made Johnson nervous, his mother said.
Johnson had been convicted three times for drug related charges stemming back to 2006, according to court records. He suffered three gunshot wounds almost two years ago, she said.
But the father of two five-year-old sons was trying to get his life back on track, she said.
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- West 72nd Street & South Artesian Avenue, Chicago, IL 60629, USA
- 2500 West 74th Street, Chicago, IL 60629, USA
- 3400 West Walnut Street, Chicago, IL 60624, USA
- 3100 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60623, USA
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- 9400 South Loomis Street, Chicago, IL 60620, USA
- 1658 South Springfield Avenue, Chicago, IL 60623, USA
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"He hasn’t been in trouble in a while," said Liberty, who rushed to the scene and recalled seeing her son's lifeless body in the alley. "He was trying to get his stuff together. Black men on the street today, it's tough for them to get a job because the first thing (employers) look at is their record."
Another victim included 40-year-old Todd Wood, who authorities said was killed after a gunman opened fire at a club in the city's Grand Crossing neighborhood. Three others were wounded in that attack, police said.
Several hours after the club shooting, Cortez Wilberton, 31, was added to the homicide list. Wilberton had seen plenty of his friends shot over the year, but hit a turning point a few years back when his best friend was killed, his sister said. A former gang member, Wilberton had a lengthy criminal record that included at least 30 arrests, according to court records.
"That's when he said, 'That's enough of this here … I don't want to be bothered by all this nonsense,' " said his sister, Tanya Wilberton, 37.
So he left the gang and started focusing all of his energy on his three children, one of whom was born earlier this month, she said. He liked to take his children — two girls and a boy — to the park and watch the older ones ride their bikes, his mother and sister said.
Sometime early last year, Wilberton was shot in the stomach during a robbery and had to leave his a job as a security guard at a local store, his sister said.
Still recovering from reconstructive surgery, he mostly stayed indoors at night but was gunned down at 1:35 a.m. on the 200 block of South Keeler Avenue in the Austin neighborhood. A 31-year-old woman also suffered a graze wound to the face in that incident, police said.
Around the time Wilberton's family gathered Sunday morning to mourn, Karen Sumner received a call at work telling her to hurry home because police officers wanted to talk about her 19-year-old son.
"I hope my son's not dead," Sumner remembers saying. "Please, I hope my son's not dead."
But when she arrived at the family's West Chatham home, officers delivered the news she feared most.
Her son, Jamal Jones, was shot at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday while riding his bike home from a family member's house through the 7400 block of South Parnell Avenue in the Englewood neighborhood, police and relatives said. He died about an hour later.
Jones was a friendly, motivated young man who steered away from trouble and was always eager to work, according to relatives. He'd sometimes peddle bottled water to passing cars on 79th Street when he couldn't find construction work, his mother said.
Jones' uncle, Travis Sumner, said his nephew was a reliable member of his roofing crew. Jones worked as the ground man, picking up trash and making sure supplies got up to the laborers on the roof.
"He worked hard," the uncle said. "He stayed busy all the time."
On Sunday afternoon, family members returned to the shooting scene. They found the bike Jones had been riding and needles left over from the paramedics.
As she recalled getting ready for her job at Jewel-Osco on Sunday morning, Karen Sumner said it was odd that her son wasn't there to say goodbye when she left the house at 3:30 a.m. At that time, she still hadn't heard the news.
"He would always greet me at the door and kiss me and say 'I love you,' " Karen Sumner said on Sunday. "This morning, he didn’t greet me."
By Monday morning the toll had grown by another fatality when Alexander Lagunas, 18, was pronounced dead at 10:08 a.m. at Mount Sinai, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Lagunas, of the 8100 block of South Scottsdale was shot on the 4000 block of West 31st Street at 12:31 a.m. Sunday morning, according to police.
Tribune reporters Jeremy Gorner, Carlos Sadovi, Kim Geiger, Deanese Williams-Harris and Adam Sege contributed.