By JEFF MAYES
Chicago Sun-Times Wire
Michael Paul Anderson was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a popular local artists in the Marquette Park community where he lived. But on Wednesday, he became yet another victinm of Chicago street violence.
The 59-year was shot to death early Wednesday during a robbery attempt while walking from his car from his Southwest Side home, Chicago Police said.
Anderson was shot in the head at 4:09 a.m. in the 6600 block of South Washtenaw, according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Witnesses said they saw three men hanging out in the area before hearing the gunshots.
He was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Ald. David Moore called Anderson “a friend, supporter and high school alumnus.”
In a Facebook post, the alderman said Anderson was “always encouraging and supporting many, especially our youth. … A true Simeon Man who loved his people. To the brothers that robbed him, if only you asked; he would have given you what he had and tried to get you more.
Simeon Alumni, the Southside Worship Center, 17Th Ward residents and Anderson’s friends are trying to raise a $5,000 reward to “help bring justice for our brother,” Ald. Moore said in another Facebook post. “So far with the help of the Simeon Alumni Association, Southside Worship Center and the 17Th Ward aldermanic office, we have raised $4,000 of the $5,000.”
Anderson’s works of art can be seen in several Chicago Public Schools. including murals and the popular poster art inside Miles Davis Elementary School.
Bishop Anthony Anderson, the victim’s brother, called him a “very prominent known artist in the city of Chicago.
“Michael was better known for his artwork in Chicago Public School system in predominantly African-American neighborhoods. Michael was dedicated to his community and to his passion for the city of Chicago.”
Michael Anderson also organized the “Gunicide movement” on the South Side, according to his brother, “pleading with young African-American men to put down their guns and to seek higher education that was the key to REAL power.”
He also started a program designed to teach gang members auto restoration skills as a way of curtailing the violence.
Mark Allen, chairman of National Black Wall Street Chicago said on Facebook: “This death is indeed tragic and yet another act of senseless violence from these WALKING TIME BOMBS on our streets that no one could have predicted that would explode violently and deadly this morning being robbed, shot and killed in front of his own home leaving early for his ongoing work and service to the community. Robbed, shot and killed from some of those in the very streets that he worked so hard to help lift up. This tragic death is indeed a major loss to the Black Wall Street family and the Black community.”
Emmy Award-winning director Alphonzo Wesson, also a South Sider, wrote of his friend Lil Mike: “Michael Anderson was my Friend and Brother. We came up in the ministry together during the eighties in Chicago. He was a consummate fine artist and a Man of God. He lived life as a creative force and never did anything else except try to help who ever he met.”
A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family with funeral expenses.