Scene where a 77-year-old man was fatally shot / Photo by Mitch Dudek
BY MITCH DUDEK
A 77-year-old man was killed and his granddaughter and two great-grandchildren were wounded Monday evening in a shooting in the Roseland neighborhood.
The shooting occurred about 6:30 p.m. in the 200 block of West 105th Street, police said. The elderly man — identified by relatives as Odell Branch Sr. — was with his 5-year-old great-grandson watching TV in a home. Branch and the 5-year-old were injured when bullets came through a window, police said.
A police source said the exchange of gunfire was between two rival gangs. A small group on the street opened fire on the teenage great-grandson of Branch, and some of the rounds went into the home, striking Branch and the child, police said.
Rival gang members then fired back at the group, striking a 34-year-old woman and 2-year-old boy, the source said.
Branch was shot in the head and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed the death.
The 5-year-old also was taken to Christ Medical Center with a gunshot wound in his arm, police said. His condition had stabilized.
Branch’s granddaughter was shot in the chest and left hand. The 2-year-old was shot in his right shoulder, police said. Chicago Police took the boy to Roseland Community Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition. The woman also was taken to Roseland, but her condition was not disclosed.
As of Monday night, several people were in police custody being questioned in connection with the shooting, which police said was gang-related. A police source said there were several shooters.
Four generations of family members lived at the house, friends and family said.
Branch was a deacon at his local church and worked the grill at church barbecue fundraisers, said his niece, Diane Branch. He had been retired for years, she said.
“He was just a good guy,” longtime neighbor Maurice Hall, 40, a chef, said of Branch. “He’d drive kids from the neighborhood to the YMCA and things like that … We’re just in shock, trying to understand why.”
“He was a pillar of the neighborhood,” said neighbor Angela Carter, who works an assisted living home. “There’s shootings around here all the time.”
Earlier Monday, a man was fatally shot in the Uptown neighborhood on the North Side. About 7:35 p.m., another man was shot and killed in the Washington Heights neighborhood on the South Side, police said. Five other people were injured in shootings on the South and West Sides.
Also, a 7-month-old girl died after her throat was cut with a power saw Monday morning in the Little Village neighborhood.
Over the weekend, two people were shot to death and 16 were wounded in shootings.
“It’s like this all the time. It’s bad,” said Betty Poole, a CTA bus driver who lives in the Roseland neighborhood. “Everybody makes promises about how they can change, but we haven’t seen it.”
— Contributing: Sam Charles