By Peter Nickeas
8:50 AM CDT, May 18, 2013
When the shooting stopped in Lawndale late Friday night, three people lay on the ground with gunshot wounds outside a family prom party on Kolin Avenue.
During the shooting, which started near Roosevelt Road and Kolin about 11:25 p.m., Kim Davis, 36, scurried under a white SUV and wasn’t hit. She kicked her way out from underneath as the gunfire continued because she thought it would explode.
“I don’t know what happened,” she said. “Who would shoot up a family? It’s a blessing the kids were put up just a few minutes before.”
Three of her cousins sustained life-threatening wounds, though. A 38-year-old woman lost a chunk of her arm - one woman who saw her afterward said she could “see the meat hanging off.”
Another man, 38, was shot in the back. He and the older woman were both initially in critical condition – the man at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County and the woman at Mount Sinai Hospital--although police said their conditions had improved by .
The most seriously wounded, a 27-year-old woman, is in “grave” condition at Mount Sinai Hospital. She had been shot in the neck, apparently with either an AK-47-style gun or one of two Tec-9 machine pistols police found discarded half a block away.
Across Kostner Avenue, 52-year-old Jeff Washington was standing in a doorway of Raybon auto shop, where he works, when he heard the gunfire.
Washington, smoking a cigarette and wearing a dusty White Sox cap, rode over on a bicycle and asked police if anybody died.
He stood outside the yellow police tape over his bicycle, a radio attached to it playing rap music, and described loud and fast gunfire.
“I just heard the ruckus and that was it,” he said. Soon after, “The whole (expletive) police force was over here.”
Washington lived in the area for more than 20 years and had watched the celebration from a distance all day, noticing the crowd a couple doors south of Roosevelt Road on Kolin Avenue.
“It’s just surprising, it ain’t even hot yet,” he said. “Bullets don’t have no names on ‘em and you can’t tell when ruck is gonna kick off.”
Blood stained the front of the SUV Davis had hidden under, and across the street, another SUV had its windows shot out.
It’s not clear why at least two shooters took aim at the group of people partying out on Kolin Avenue, among them at least a few children. They approached from an alley and ran back toward a green conversion van. When police arrived, it was still running.
East of the van, police found the guns at the mouth of the alley on Kostner Avenue. South on Kostner, police found a pair of gloves and even farther south, jackets near a garbage can in a vacant lot.
Davis and a half dozen others returned to the scene early Saturday morning for a few minutes before dispersing in different directions. She sat on a folding chair outside the crime scene, surrounded by relatives. Gang signs were etched into a metal façade of a nearby building.
“I know it’s real spooky, it’s haunting me right now,” Davis said before leaving. “Going to haunt me for a long time.”
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