By JEFF MAYES
Chicago Sun-Times Wire
If you wanted a perfect example of the epidemic of violence on Chicago’s streets this year, look no farther than the Southwest Side Brainerd neighborhood last weekend.
On Saturday, a man was shot to death while standing outside his own home. On Sunday, while neighbors were conducting a memorial vigil in his honor, a young woman was killed and two other teens wounded when gunfire erupted again.
While it may seem shocking, such incidents are all too common this year in Chicago, where more than 500 homicides and 3,000 shootings have now been recorded, both figures already exceeding the total for all of 2015.
The week’s final homicide was the woman shot to death Sunday night at the vigil. KeeKee Fleming, 18, was among three people shot at 8:07 p.m. in the 8900 block of South Justine, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
The group was standing outside at a vigil when a grey minivan drove up, and two people got out and began shooting, police said. The shooters then got back in the van and drove away.
Fleming, who lived on the same block, was shot in the head and was pronounced dead at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Two boys—16 and 17—were also wounded, and were taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The 17-year-old was shot in the arm and was in critical condition, while the younger man was shot in the buttocks and was stabilized.
The three had been out to honor 23-year-old Nahmar T. Holmes, who was shot outside his home on the same block a day earlier. Holmes was shot Saturday afternoon about 5:20 p.m., when two people walked up and shot him multiple times in the torso, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Holmes was taken to South Shore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
- A person was found dead with their throat slit Sunday night in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, according to police. The body was discovered with a neck laceration about 8:45 p.m. in the 4500 block of West Monroe, and a knife was found nearby.
Police said the victim was a man thought to be between 25 and 35; though friends on social media said the victim was a transgender woman who went by T.T. The medical examiner’s office had not identified the victim as of Tuesday afternoon pending notification of family.
- A 28-year-old man was shot to death Sunday afternoon in the Hermosa neighborhood. At 3:08 p.m., Sergio Zaragoza got into an argument with a female in the 1600 block of North Karlov and the fight turned physical, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.
During the fight, a male walked up, pulled a gun and shot Zaragoza in the chest, authorities said. Zaragoza, who lived a block north of the shooting, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died. Police said the incident may have been domestic-related but did not elaborate.
- A 19-year-old man died after he was shot multiple times in the Brighton Park neighborhood earlier Sunday. Salvador Muniz was driving north in the 3900 block of South Campbell at 2:35 a.m. when someone inside a vehicle driving south began shooting at him, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. He was struck by multiple bullets before the vehicle with the shooter drove away west. Muniz was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:12 a.m.
- Another man was shot dead while driving late Saturday in Pullman. John McKinley, 36, was going through an intersection in the 11200 block of South Langley about 11:25 p.m. when a vehicle pulled up and someone inside fired shots, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Shot multiple times, he attempted to drive away, but crashed into parked cars, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
- A man was killed and another wounded in a Chicago Lawn neighborhood shooting Saturday afternoon. About 2 p.m., the pair were sitting in a vehicle in the 3000 block of West 63rd Street when several gunmen walked up and opened fire, according to police. Dominic Hallom, 27, was shot in the head and torso, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man, 26, was shot in the leg, arm, torso and buttocks. He was taken to Christ Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized.
- Chicago Police shot a man after officers on patrol witnessed a fatal shooting late Friday in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. The officers saw the initial shooting about 11:30 p.m. near the intersection of Division and Maplewood, where 18-year-old Louis Rodriguez had been driving around the block and “engaging a group of males before he was shot, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.
Rodriguez, of the 1300 block of North Oakley, was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:30 a.m. Saturday. The officers intervened and at least one opened fire and hit a male, CPD area coordinator Glen Brooks said. He was taken to a hospital with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening. No officers were hurt. The officer or officers involved will be placed on administrative duty per CPD policy.
On Monday, Michael Arquero, 32, of the 2900 block of North Fairfield, was charged with one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, according to police. He was ordered held on a $2 million bond.
- A 53-year-old man found dead in a vehicle Thursday afternoon in the Austin neighborhood was beaten to death, according to an autopsy. About 1:10 p.m., Jerry Lee Cummings was found unresponsive with injuries to his groin inside a vehicle near his home in the 200 block of North Lockwood, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. He was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy Friday ruled his death a homicide and found he died of multiple assault injuries.
- A man was found shot to death early Wednesday in the Albany Park neighborhood. Officers responding about 4:50 a.m. to a call of a person down in the 4400 block of North Albany found the 21-year-old man lying on the sidewalk, according to police. Israel Aragon Jr. had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:16 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.
- A 59-year-old man stabbed during a domestic fight earlier this summer in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood died Monday evening. About 10 p.m. July 28, a fight escalated between Kenneth Whitney and his wife at their home in the 7800 block of South May, and the 52-year-old woman stabbed him in the chest, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.
Whitney was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead at 5:05 p.m. Monday, authorities said. An autopsy Tuesday did not rule on cause or manner of death, with final results pending further investigation. Yvette Davis was arrested at the time of the stabbing, and investigators recovered the weapon, police said. She was initially charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic battery.
- A 17-year-old boy was shot to death late Tuesday in the Lawndale neighborhood. Marqui Williams was standing outside at 10:09 p.m. in the 3300 block of West Douglas when another male walked up and opened fire, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Williams was shot in the chest, right arm and face; and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
- A 25-year-old man was shot to death Tuesday afternoon in the Uptown neighborhood. Gregory Sims got into an argument in the 4500 block of North Kenmore about 2:45 p.m. with a man who pulled a gun and shot him five times in the chest and twice in the leg, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. The shooter ran through a gangway and took off in a black vehicle. Sims was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead less than two hours later.
- Two men were killed and three other people were wounded in a shooting Monday night in Lawndale. About 10:45 p.m., the group was standing on the sidewalk in the 2700 block of West Lexington when someone in a silver minivan opened fire, according to police.
Charles Smith, 22, was shot in the chest and and thigh, and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the medical examiner’s office. Dequan Trimble, also 22, was shot in the torso and was also taken to Stroger, where he was pronounced dead.
Three other people were taken to Mount Sinai with gunshot wounds, police said. A 16-year-old boy was shot in the chest and was in critical condition; a 17-year-old boy suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was serious; and a 20-year-old man was shot in the right arm and buttocks, and was also listed in serious condition.
- Two more men were shot to death near an Englewood neighborhood park Monday evening. It happened about 7:15 p.m. in the 1200 block of West Marquette, near Ogden Park. Paul Hamilton, 47, was walking his dog when someone in a vehicle started shooting, striking him in the chest, according to police and the medical examiner’s office.
The shots also struck 24-year-old Devon D. Reavley in the chest as he ran from the gunfire. Both men were taken to Stroger Hospital, authorities said. Hamilton died there at 8:01 p.m.; and Reavley at 8:40 p.m., authorities said. It was unclear if either of the victims were the intended targets.
- LaShawn Carr was shot to death three blocks from his Englewood neighborhood home Monday evening. The 33-year-old was on a sidewalk in the 900 block of West 58th Street when a car pulled up and someone inside shot him in the back about 6:45 p.m., according to police and the medical examiner’s office. Carr was taken to St. Bernard Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
- A 22-year-old man was shot to death Monday afternoon in the Brighton Park neighborhood. About 1:30 p.m., roommates found Enrique D. Morales lying on their driveway in the 4500 block of South Whipple with a gunshot wound to the chest, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
- A 24-year-old man was killed and another man wounded in a shooting Monday morning in Englewood. David Baldwin was shot in the head in the 6800 block of South Emerald about 9:30 a.m., according to authorities. He was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead about 5 hours later.
A 26-year-old man was shot in the thigh and grazed across the head. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized. Police said he was not cooperating with investigators. A SWAT team was called after a report that a person involved in the shooting may have run into a building on the block, police said. The SWAT team cleared the building but no one was inside.
- A 67-year-old man has been charged with the fatal shooting of an 80-year-old retired minister Monday morning at the senior living facility where they both lived in South Shore. Ted Merchant faces a murder charge in connection with the 6:30 a.m. shooting in the 2800 block of East 77th Place, according to police. Allen Smith was outside at the time when he and Merchant got into an argument, police said. Merchant fired shots, striking the older man in the head.
A police source said Merchant fired one shot, and when the elderly man collapsed, Merchant drove closer in his motorized scooter and fired more shots. Merchant, who sources said can walk with the assistance of a cane, then got into a car and was found by police still in the parking lot of the facility. Merchant was ordered held on a $500,000 bond.