A former employee of the CeaseFire violence prevention program was fatally shot today in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side, officials said.
Marlon Lee, 36, was driving when his car came to rest on the 6100 block of South Woodlawn Avenue at about 10 a.m., police said. The Cook County medical Examiner's office said he was shot on the 1200 block of East 65th Street.
Lee of Chicago Heights, was found shot in the back and was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:45 a.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Tio Hardiman, director of CeaseFire Illinois, said Lee worked for the group off and on for about a year and a half and last worked for them about a year and a half ago. He worked on the street trying to quell violence.
"He was really passionate about the work he was doing for us," said Hardiman. "It's unfortunate that this happened to him, losing his life. He was one of our own."
He said Lee was driving in a vehicle that crashed on the 6100 block of Woodlawn. He said he believes that Lee was driving himself to Jackson Park hospital after being shot.
From January 1 through September 16, there were 29 homicides in the district compared to 20 during the same period in 2011, an increase of 45 percent, according to police statistics. Shootings in the district were up 43 percent with 175 through September 16, compared to 122 last year, the statistics show.
Also, CeaseFire, under the new arrangement with the city, is supposed to be working in that area. Hardiman said there were going to be 12 CeaseFire workers operating out of the Grand Crossing (3rd) District, where Woodlawn is located. Many, if not all, of those workers would be working in Woodlawn.
He said the group is setting up a prayer vigil in the area later in the week to commemorate Lee's work and to bring attention to the violence.
Hardiman said the group will work to prevent any retaliatory violence that the shooting may spawn.
"Marlon had a past, a lot of guys we work with and we hire do have a past," said Hardiman. "He got out of the life style and tried to turn his life around."
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