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Good Samaritan who could do nothing after Old Town shooting leaves 2 dead: ‘It’s just sad’

A man startled by a car crash ran from his home to help. There was nothing he could do.

Mangled Divvy bikes mark the site of a car crash where two men who’d been shot moments earlier in Old Town died early Sunday.
Mitch Dudek / Sun-Times

When Chris Brown heard the crash early Sunday and ran outside his Old Town apartment in just boxer shorts, he didn’t know what to do.

It was 5:55 a.m, and Brown, who moments earlier had been doing paperwork, stood in front of a burgundy Crown Victoria that had careened into a row of Divvy bikes and the wooden railing of a tavern’s sidewalk patio before hitting a pole on Sedgwick Street just steps north of North Avenue.

All the windows on the car were tinted. And it was riddled with bullet holes.

“I’m like a little nervous,” Brown said, taking a put-yourself-in-my-shoes tone. “If someone’s opening the door and they think you’re the bad person, then maybe all the sudden you get shot for no reason.”

He opened the door anyway.

“I knocked on the windshield. I waved multiple times,” he said. “Hey, I’m here to help,” he said as he opened the driver’s side door.

Inside there was blood everywhere and two men who’d been shot multiple times in the front seats. Both were unconscious. Only one was breathing.

A female motorist stopped long enough for Brown to tell her to call 911, but she saw the bullet holes and didn’t stick around, Brown said.

Both men, ages 22 and 25, were pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

The shooting originated several blocks east — less than a block from the Chicago History Museum and the Latin School of Chicago, when gunmen in another vehicle began shooting at the pair as they headed west in the 100 block of West North Avenue, Chicago police said.

The 22-year-old was shot multiple times in the back and the 25-year-old suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the body, police said.

The gunmen’s vehicle fled north on LaSalle Drive after riddling the other car with more than a dozen bullets, police said.

On Sunday afternoon, Brown sat nursing a beer on the side patio of the Sedgwick Stop tavern, which suffered damage to its sidewalk patio during the crash.

Chris Brown sits in contemplation and has a beer while staring at the place where hours earlier a car crashed near his home.
Mitch Dudek / Sun-Times

He sat, wearing a T-shirt, shorts and sunglasses, staring at the site of the accident — a wrought-iron fence and about 15 feet separating him from the place where the car crashed.

”It’s just sad,” he said, as four men played a bean bag game next to him.