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Violence erupts at Powell’s Barbershop, an Englewood institution

Violence erupted inside Powell's Barbershop Thursday, an institution in Englewood. | Andy Grimm/For Sun-Times

One man was killed and another wounded in a shooting at Powell’s Barber Shop, a staple in the Englewood neighborhood, Thursday afternoon on the South Side.

The men, ages 36 and 38, were inside the business at 3:11 p.m. in the 1100 block of West 63rd street when another male outside fired shots into the establishment, according to Chicago Police.

The 38-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound to the arm and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:15 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Jarrell Sias | Provided photo
Jarrell Sias | Provided photo

A relative identified the slain man as Jarrell Sias, father of five children, several of whom the brought to Powell’s regularly for trims.

“He was laid-back, just a nice, quiet man,” said Latanya Johnson, the aunt of Sias’ 8-year-old son. “I was shocked when I heard. If (police) are out there trying to say he was a bad person, they’re lying.”

The younger man was shot in the leg and was also taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, according to Chicago Fire Department Cmdr. Walter Schroeder.

Owner Sunni Powell said he was shocked by the shooting inside his shop and that the shooter and the slain man weren’t regular customers.

The shop, tucked in the corner of a busy strip mall at West 63rd Street and Racine, has become a neighborhood hub since it opened six years ago. Powell has become well known for offering free cuts to CPS students at the start of the school year, and his shop was featured in a scene in Spike Lee’s movie “Chi-Raq.”

A crowd gathers around Sunni Powell, center, in a black T-shirt, after two men were shot inside his well-known barbershop. | Andy Grimm/For Sun-TImes
A crowd gathers around Sunni Powell, center, in a black T-shirt, after two men were shot inside his well-known barbershop. | Andy Grimm/For Sun-TImes

Powell said he’d never had any similar violence inside his shop.

“We’re going to keep doing what we do, and being a positive force in the community,” Powell said as he slumped in a chair inside the fish-and-chicken joint next door to his shop.

“This isn’t about to shut us down.”