By ASHLEE REZIN
Chicago Sun-Times WIre
A woman wailed as she looked out of her third-story apartment window early Sunday where Fredrick Lee Blount had been shot in the street below in the North Lawndale neighborhood.
Officers responding to a call of person shot about 1:25 a.m. found the 32-year-old lying in the street near the corner of West 13th Street and South Central Park Avenue, according to Chicago Police.
He had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Family members identified him as Blount, who has a 1-year-old daughter, a 12-year-old son and three sisters.
“He was a good person, worked every day, wasn’t up to nothing,” said Blount’s father, 54-year-old Fredrick Lee Irons, adding the family had never before been affected by gun violence.
“Sundays he loved to cook. Tomorrow he would’ve been calling me to come over and barbecue with him.”
Irons said he last spoke with his son at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“He asked me to go out with him, he was gonna take me to a steppers party,” he said. “I said no ‘cuz I had work.”
He said he was asleep early Sunday when his youngest daughter called and woke him up with the news.
Officers at the scene covered Blount’s body with a white sheet, which could be seen lying on the ground near the 13th Street stop sign on the west side of Central Park.
Residents of a large multi-unit apartment building on the corner looked out their windows while detectives investigated.
A red baseball hat lay among about half-a-dozen casings and evidence markers on the ground outside Blount’s Audi Q7, parked on the east side of Central Park, which was left running with the headlights on. A trail of blood led from the SUV.
“He’s just a good kid,” Irons said. “Well, he’s a grown man, but to me he’s still a kid.”
Irons said Blount was a graduate of Collins Academy High School who worked for a company that rehabilitated houses, adding, “He’s probably got a bunch of blueprints in his car right now.”
While dozens of people gathered outside the crime scene, a car came speeding up with its horn blaring.
One woman jumped out of the car and ran up to the police tape, yelling, “That’s his car right there!”
She screamed, “What happened? What happened? We was just with him!”
An officer approached, “When we got here he was already gone.”
Friends and family, one of whom was a woman wearing a robe, held the woman as she cried and collapsed.
“Why would they do that to that boy?” she screamed, “He turned over, I seen him.”
Kitty Mitchell, 35, who has lived in a two-flat next door to the crime scene for about two years, said she woke up to at least six gunshots.
She said she regularly hears people arguing and gunfire in the area, but has never witnessed a homicide on her block.
“People getting gunned down? There’s not too much of that on this block,” said the mother of two.
“But staying out here in Chicago, you never know what to expect.”
When body removal personnel arrived, another woman wearing just a tank top screamed and ran down the block, “I got to go, I’m not gonna watch them put my brother in a body bag!”
Once Blount’s body was in the vehicle, she screamed, “I love you brother,” and ran out into the middle of the street, watching it drive away.
Irons stood quietly on the sidewalk and watched.
A few minutes later, an officer called out to him and handed Irons the keys to his son’s Audi, saying, “I’m very sorry for your loss. You’ll know as soon as we find anything out.”
Tears streamed down Irons’ face. “Who did it? He never bothered anybody.”
With his hands now in his pockets, the officer said, “We’ll do everything we can, I can promise you that much.”