One person was killed, and nine others wounded in a mass shooting early Saturday along the bustling 75th Street business corridor that separates the Park Manor and Chatham neighborhoods on the South Side.
The shooting happened just after 2 a.m. when two males approached a group standing in a parking lot near 75th Street and South Prairie Avenue and opened fire, Chicago police said.
A 29-year-old woman was struck in the leg and abdomen and died after being rushed to the University of Chicago Medical Center, police said.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified her as Kimfier Miles of South Shore. An autopsy conducted Sunday ruled her death a homicide.
Other survivors ranged in age from 23-46 years old and suffered gunshot wounds to their arms, legs, feet and buttocks, police said. All were listed in good-to-fair condition and taken to hospitals for treatment.
The 75th Street corridor is a lively commercial district that is home to renowned Black-owned businesses like Brown Sugar Bakery — a place recently visited by Vice President Kamala Harris — and Lem’s Bar-B-Q, which is the oldest Black-owned barbecue in the city.
Later on Saturday morning, foot traffic was still heavy along the busy corridor as patrons walked from store to store. An outdoor cycling class also went on with music adding to a jubilant morning. Any signs that the shooting had taken place had been removed.
But some in the business community were still trying to understand how the shooting could happen in an area they said was a place people come to enjoy themselves and which rarely sees violence.
The manager of Lem’s said he was told the shooting happened just outside his restaurant at 311 E. 75th St., but the restaurant had been closed for hours before the shooting took place.
“I don’t know what happened and our cameras didn’t capture anything,” he said, asking that he not be named. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Eddi El Khatib, owner of A & S Beverages, 308 E. 75th Street, said the shooting happened across the street from his wine and spirit shop.
El Khatib said his surveillance cameras captured what happened, but he declined to go into detail with what was on the recording, saying only that the cameras showed about a dozen police cars already on the strip before the shooting occurred.
“I will say it was just a heinous act by individuals, because this has always been a peaceful street,” El Khatib said. “When the shooting happened, every business was closed here, including us.”
The 75th Street corridor has become a destination for people to bring their cars and motorcycles and show off, like an informal “car show,” El Khatib said.
“People come here and they drive their motorcycle and show off by popping a wheelie and the crowd cheers,” he said. “Everybody knows everybody, so it’s never any problems, but there has been things going on this past month that have been different and unusual, I don’t know why.”
A spokesman for the police department declined to provide additional information about the investigation.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) called the shooting a “tragedy” in a statement released by his office and said he was “praying for the victims and families at this time.”
“Let me be clear, these attacks on 75th Street or, anywhere in our communities, are unacceptable,” Sawyer said. “We have been working hard to rebuild 75th Street as a thriving business corridor, and the community is committed to this vision.”
Sawyer said the shootings were done by a few people who had no interest in patronizing the businesses along the corridor. He said the incident shouldn’t stop continued investment into the community.
“I am committed to continued investment in violence prevention methods and ensuring our communities are safe,” Sawyer said.