Dozens of residents gathered outside their homes early Wednesday, watching Chicago Police investigate a shooting that left one man dead and another wounded in the Pilsen neighborhood.
The men, ages 18 and 20, were standing on the street at 12:49 a.m. near the corner of West 18th Place and South Throop Street when a Chevrolet Tahoe pulled up and someone inside opened fire, according to police.
The 20-year-old, identified as Armani Fierro, was shot in the back and taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:10 a.m., police and the Cook County medical examiner’ office said. He lived in the 1800 block of South Racine.
The younger man was also shot in the back and taken to Stroger, where he was listed in serious condition, police said.
After the shooting a crowd gathered on the street and saw the man lying on the ground on 18th Place. He moaned softly and his leg shook as paramedics began treating him at the scene. He was rolled onto a spinal board and lifted to a waiting gurney.
A neighbor who said his name was Jack, but declined to give his last name, said he was walking from South Allport Street to get food when he heard five to seven gunshots in quick succession.
“I heard the gunshots and then I saw two girls running across the street,” he said. “I saw him between the two buildings. He was wearing a white T-shirt and it was just soaked red. They were screaming his name. ‘Wake up, wake up.’ Then the cops and everybody came.”
A police source said he believed the bullets came from a rifle.
When the shots were fired, the man in the white T-shirt ran into a gangway between two buildings in the 1800 block of Throop. The other man ran down the 1300 block of 18th Place, making it to the mouth of an alley behind Throop before he collapsed.
Other witnesses at the scene said they saw three males run down 18th Place toward South Loomis Street after the shooting.
Jack said he had recently moved to the area from the Little Village neighborhood where he grew up to avoid this kind of scene. He said he was drawn to Pilsen as “an up-and-coming neighborhood.”
“I mean, I knew Pilsen still had stuff like this, but I thought it was less, you know?” he said. “But no, it doesn’t make me want to move or anything. I like it here.”
At least one person has been shot in Pilsen every month except March this year, according to reporting by the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I’m accustomed to this kind of crime, but to see it like this, up close,” Jack said as he shook his head. “I’ve heard countless shootings before. I’ve had people I’ve known who’ve been shot, but seeing it like this; it’s something else to see the end result.”