By Jeremy Gorner and Liam Ford
7:53 AM CDT, April 25, 2013
A man crashed through a chain-link fence and into a home after he was shot while driving through the West Pullman neighborhood on the Far South Side, authorities said.
Dane Whitfield, 31, was found unresponsive in the black Kia Optima and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Whitfield was driving south in the 11800 block of Harvard Avenue about 5:30 p.m. when shots rang out, police said. He hit a parked car, shearing off its back end, then hit a utility pole and crashed through a fence and into a house in the 11900 block of South Harvard, police said.
The utility pole was cracked by the impact and slanted toward the single-family home.
Detectives, evidence technicians and beat officers cordoned off the 11800 block of Harvard with yellow tape. A tan or brown car that had been parked on the street and hit by the Kia sat in the middle of the block. Across 119th Street, police blocked off the scene where the Kia crashed as onlookers stared at the wreckage.
Whitfield had gotten his hair cut at a barber shop near 113th and Halsted about 10 minutes before the shooting, according to a barber there who has known Whitfield since they were both young. As he was leaving the shop, Whitfield and the friend had discussed going to a nightclub on the North Side later that night.
"We were just talking about going out tonight," said the friend, 35, who lives a few blocks from the shooting. "He wanted to go out. And we said, 'We can do that.' "
The friend said he learned of the shooting from his mother. He went to the scene and recognized Whitfield's car by the license plate. "Him and his girlfriend just got that car. And I know the license plate because I play lottery. I know (the license plate) by heart," the friend said.
The friend did not know why anyone would want to shoot Whitfield. "I grew up with him. I see him all the time. We play video games. We play ball," the friend said. "I have a group [of friends]. We don't get involved.
"I'm still trying to figure it out," the friend said.
Four other people were wounded in shootings across the city since Wednesday afternoon:
• A 33-year-old man walked into Holy Cross Hospital with a gunshot wound about 4:30 p.m. He told police he had been shot in the 6800 block of South California Avenue, near the hospital, but police found no shell casings or blood and no one called 911 to report gunfire.
Police later said the man was shot in the 7100 block of South Wood Street in the West Englewood neighborhood, in the same incident as a 43-year-old man who was shot in the eye, police said. They were shot about 4:15 p.m., said Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala.
The man, who fire officials said was 44, was taken in serious-to-critical condition to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized, according to a Fire Department spokesman.
• About 11:30 p.m., a 22-year-old man walked into Mount Sinai Hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. He had been shot in the 3900 block of West 24th Street, near the intersection with Harding Avenue.
• A 22-year-old man was shot inside a private club in the 1500 block of West 79th Street, near the Ashland Avenue intersection, about 3:20 a.m. Thursday. The man was near the door of the club when another man, angry because he was denied entry to the club, fired through the glass door.
He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg, police said.
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