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Man, 25, shot to death in lobby of Hyatt hotel near McCormick Place

Family and friends of a man shot to death in a hotel lobby near McCormick Place look inside as police check the crime scene. | Sam Charles / Sun-Times

A fight and shooting early Saturday in the lobby of a hotel near McCormick Place claimed the life of a 25-year-old man.

Courtney Taylor of the 6800 block of South Paulina Avenue was shot multiple times and was dead at the scene.

Taylor had been among several people fighting in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 2233 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. around 2:20 a.m., authorities said.

The fight and shooting occurred in the hotel’s south tower.

Travis Cain, who was visiting Chicago from Memphis to celebrate his 36th birthday on Sunday, was in the lobby when the fight broke out and said it involved more than a dozen people.

After a hotel security officer yelled that someone had a gun, Cain said he was pushed to a corner of the lobby, then heard shots.

It could happen anywhere, he said. “I’ve learned not to pass judgment on places,” Cain said. “Memphis isn’t the best city, either.”

As the police cordoned off the area where the shooting took place and began their work, Taylor’s body remained uncovered and visible through a large window for about an hour after the shooting.

Around the time someone brought a sheet that covered all but a portion of his face, a woman arrived, saying she was Taylor’s mother and pleading to be allowed to see him.

Detectives told her she wouldn’t be able to until the crime scene was processed, and she went outside and, from the window, saw her son’s covered body and screamed, “That’s my son!”

She pounded on the window and was surrounded by about 10 family members and friends.

“Look at my son lying on the ground like that,” she yelled through tears, collapsing to the ground. “Get my baby off that ground.”

Hyatt’s corporate communications manager, Stephanie Sheppard, said the hotel staff was cooperating with the police and called the shooting “an isolated incident.”

“However, the hotel is taking all appropriate precautions in an effort to ensure that guests and hotel associates remain in a safe environment,” she said. “We also went to extend our sympathies to the family of the deceased.”