BY MICHAEL LANSU AND GEORGE SLEFO
Kevin O’Malley spent last week searching for the perfect gift for his girlfriend’s upcoming birthday, a coworker said.
O’Malley won’t get the chance to celebrate that birthday after the 25-year-old was shot to death early Saturday in the Lake View neighborhood.
Authorities said O’Malley got into a fight with another man in the 900 block of West Oakdale Avenue about 2 a.m.
During the fight, the other man pulled out a gun and shot O’Malley twice in the chest, authorities said. He died at the scene.
O’Malley, who grew up in south suburban Palos Park, lived on the North Side and worked in River North, according to a coworker, who asked to remain anonymous.
“He was a really nice guy. He always had a positive attitude and always liked to joke around,” the coworker said. “He was very smart, but was one of those people that also didn’t take things too seriously.”
O’Malley enjoyed sports, especially the Sox and Bulls, the coworker said.
Saturday evening, police announced that Kristopher K. Pitts was charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery with a firearm for the shooting. Police said the shooting might have stemmed from an armed robbery for a cell phone.
Pitts, 22, of the 1100 block of North Central Park Avenue, is expected to appear in court for a bond hearing on Sunday, police said.
After the shooting, authorities found his body in an alley underneath CTA train tracks, about a block east from a stretch of popular bars and restaurants on Sheffield Avenue.
Police said Pitts initially fled the scene, but was captured a short time later.
A man working nearby, who declined to give his name, said he did not hear any gunshots.
“The train comes and goes, and it’s loud,” the man said. “It’s crazy something like this would happen here.”
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said in an email to area residents there were multiple witness.
“I will continue to work with our Chicago Police Department and neighbors to do everything we can to keep our streets safe,” Tunney said.
Scene where Kevin O’Malley was shot dead / Photo by George Slefo